The Authors

Angela Mesna

I am a senior English major and am graduating this quarter. I have been interested in taking the History of the Holocaust course the entire time I have been at UCSB. It has always been a subject that both horrified yet interested me at the same time. While in the class I became particularly interested in seeing how the regime's ideologies actually affected the everday person, particularly women. That is why I chose to look into Magda Goebbels, Irma Grese, and Ilse Koch. Magda intrigued me because of her upbringing with a Jewish step father, Protestant mother, and Catholic father. She seemed to be relativily open minded yet got so caught up with Hitler and Goebbels that she could not escape, although she began to disagree with the Nazi ideologies. Irma and Ilse interested me because they also seemed to have normal childhoods (less is known about Ilse's upbringing) yet turned out to be ruthless murderers. I wanted to learn how the Nazi regime turned these women into killers, and I would like to reasearch this topic in more depth.

Brittney Smith

I am a senior English major and am graduating in June 2004. I have always been interested in the Holocaust, particularly since I was raised Jewish and thus heard about the events of WWII on and off throughout my entire life. I remember being given The Diary of Anne Frank as a gift from one of my relatives when I was about nine years old and reading it with great interest mixed with horror. From then on, I was familiar with what had happened during that time, but almost had a greater wish to not talk about it. I was so disgusted and frightened by what the Nazis had done to so many innocent people that to not speak of it was the only way to possibly get the ideas and images out of my mind. As I've gotten older, I have realized that not only did the Holocaust scare me, but I had also some how managed to unconsciously give myself a phobia of Germany in its entirety. After I began college, I started to understand that it was ridiculous for me to be afraid of a whole country when in reality, it wasn't every single German's fault for what had happened to the Jews.

This course has definitely made an impact on me because it has answered many of the questions that I've had as well as given me a substantial background for understanding the War in general. As for this project, on the first day of class (after looking at the syllabus) I knew that I wanted to know more about the women in Hitler's life because there were quite a few and each played a very specific role in his life. Their power at this time, when women had so little, encouraged me to find out more about their lives and to understand further why they chose to either follow or rebel against one of the greatest, most intimidating dictators in history -- Adolf Hitler.

Jessica Evans

I am a senior Mathematics major planning to graduate this spring. I know it seems weird for a math major to be taking a history class, and it is one of very few that I have taken in my time at UCSB, but I have always been interested in the Holocaust and the Nazi era. I actually first heard about this class my freshman year and it is only now that I have had the opportunity to enroll. Throughout the quarter, I have learned a lot about the different perspectives of history and how a particular historian can present a certain event. I chose to research the topic of women's involvement in the Holocaust because I've never learned much about the perspective of women during such a tragic time period. Of course, I've read Anne Frank and stories such as that, stories of the victims of the holocaust, and in doing so, I have read a lot about the plight of jewish women during the Holocaust, but, until now, I have never heard much about Nazi women. The women I chose to research were all very involved, in one way or another, in the Nazi movement, either first-hand or through their connections to Nazi leaders, namely Hitler. In doing my research, I have learned a lot about these women and their reasons for becoming involved in something that forever shaped their lives.

UCSB Hist 33D course homepage

Hist 33D web projects index page

Hitler's Women homepage
Angela Mesna
Brittney Smith
Jessica Evans

Nazi Relatives:
Eva Braun
Magda Goebbels
Winifred Wagner
Leni Riefenstahl
Zarah Leander
Marlene Dietrich
Concentration Camp Guards:
Ilse Koch
Irma Grese
Herta Bothe
Images and Bibliography pages

Content by: Angela Mesna, Brittney Smith, and Jessica Evans
Web Design: Brittney Smith
Date created: December 8, 2003