Jewish women and girls wearing the compulsory yellow badge. [LCID: 78590]

Women's History Month

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The history of women during the Holocaust is complex.


The Nazi regime targeted all Jews, both men and women, for persecution and eventually death. However, women, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were frequently subjected to brutal persecution that was sometimes unique to their gender. Some women took active roles in resisting Nazi persecution. Browse ID Cards describing women's experiences during the Holocaust

Under the Third Reich, German women played a vital role in the Nazi movement, one which far exceeded the Nazi Party’s propaganda that a woman’s place was strictly in the home as mothers and child-bearers. Many women collaborated or were complicit in Nazi crimes. Learn more about women in the Third Reich

Questions for critical thinking:

  • What were some of the roles of women during the era of the Holocaust?
  • What additional challenges did women face during the Holocaust at the hands of the perpetrators?
  • In what ways did women resist?  
  • What pressures and motivations may have affected decisions by women to participate in crimes, to collaborate, or to be indifferent to those actions?

American Women and the Holocaust

Browse articles and media highlighting American women from a wide range of roles and their activities or experiences during the Holocaust: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Jazz musician Valaida Snow, and US Army nurse Pat Lynch. 

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies, Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, the Claims Conference, EVZ, and BMF for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of donor acknowledgement.