2015/11/06 - 19:00, Frauenhetz

There will be a translation in to ASL (Austrian Sign Language).

There will be a whisper translation into English.

The focus of this event is sexualized violence through the NS regime. It is still a tabooed topic and even in the “commemoration year” 2015, it is seldom thematized. The many forms of this violence often affected women* and ranged from verbal assaults and degrading examination methods, rape and forced sex work, to forced sterilizations and abortions. The tabooization of sexualized violence experienced during the NS regime made it difficult for many survivors to deal with the violence they suffered.

The following questions concern us:

Which forms of sexualized violence were present in the NS regime?
Were they connected with anti-semitic and racist violence?
Why couldn’t many survivors talk about it after 1945 (or didn’t want to)?
What effects did that have – on an individual as well as a societal level?

How does sexualized violence still work today in armed conflicts?
And what purpose does it serve?

What is a traumatization?
What does traumatization means in this context of state/institutionalized/organized violence?
What effects can it have?
On the survivors and on the generations that follow?

During the event, we would like to think and speak about these and other questions together. We want to look into reasons for this tabooization and talk about how violence and the (non-)handling thereof continue to have effects on a social level to the present day, and what demands can thus be found for a societal handling of such a kind of sexualized violence.

Short inputs from Barbara Preitler and Helga Amesberger will offer an introduction to the topic. The following talk among all those present will be moderated by Maria Pohn-Lauggas.


Helga Amesberger is a research associate at the institute for conflict research in Vienna and the co-author of the book Sexualized Violence. Female experiences in NS concentration camps (2004)

Barbara Preitler is a psychologist, psychotherapist and counseling supervisor, founding member and therapist at Hemayat, Support center for survivors of torture and war in Vienna, lecturer at the University of Klagenfurt, author of numerous publications, most recently: Grief and Disappearance. Psychosocial Interventions (2015)