Book Talk: Andrea Peto on New Research on Sexual Violence during WWII in Europe: Silences, Taboos, and Opportunities
June 10, 2019 (Monday)
Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
(register for exact location: email@example.com)
In this talk, Prof. Pető will discuss her recent book – Telling the Untellable – on sexual violence committed by soldiers in Eastern Europe during World War Two. While the history of the Second World War in Hungary has in many ways been exhaustively researched and processed in political and military historiography, the atrocities against civilians – and especially the mass rapes committed against women – have been perceived as taboo topics for decades. In Telling the Untellable, Pető discusses wartime rape committed on invaded Hungarian territories by soldiers of different armies in an international comparative framework. This work thus focuses also on the methodological and theoretical difficulties faced by a scholar recovering this history. How do we do research when documents do not exist or are produced with explicit political agendas? What contributed to the spiral of silence and untelling how can one dismantle a ‘conspiracy of silence’? And how has the history of wartime rape become a much-used weapon on the battlefield of contemporary memory politics?
C. S. Schieder, Aoyama Gakuin University