Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

The female Wehrmacht auxiliary
A paradigmatic figure of the last days of the war

Franka Maubach

Deutsche Fassung


The figure of the female anti-aircraft auxiliary is frequently used in public discussions among people interested in history in order to paint a concise picture summing up the specific features of the end of the war in 1944-45. Women forced into a final, senseless military action symbolize, by virtue of their hybrid civilian-military status, the totalization of war and represent defeat. The memories of these auxiliaries treat the end of the war as an extra-historical state and are variations on the intellectual theme of posthistoire. The auxiliaries satirize this apocalyptic experience and stubbornly unmask it, and as they do this their memories of military action and of the odysseys that took them home also open up a way back from the last days of the war into history.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 197–206)