Tijdschrift voor Criminologie

Article

Een bijzondere groep daders: vrouwelijke langgestraften na afloop van de Tweede Wereldoorlog in Nederland

Trefwoorden female, perpetrators, World War II, empirical study, criminal career
Auteurs Drs. Jantien Stuifbergen MSc
Auteursinformatie

329140 Drs. Jantien Stuifbergen MSc
Drs. J.A.M. Stuifbergen, MSc is programmacoördinator van de Master International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology en promovenda bij de sectie Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,
  • Samenvatting

      Early literature on female perpetrators of World War II focused on labelling the accused as deranged psychopaths, thereby distinguishing the group of perpetrators from the vast subdued and ‘normal’ population. While this perception has changed over the past decades, the perception of female perpetrators has remained limited either way, women are denied having a lot of agency when perpetrating crimes in conflict. Similar to the ‘mad Nazi’-theory these narratives imply that female perpetrators are different from ‘ordinary’ women, as their actions collide with notions of ideal femininity. This empirical research has shown that in the case of female perpetrators of World War II in the Netherlands it seems that they can be seen as ordinary women operating in extraordinary circumstances. In this study, a special group of female war criminals is described. Against the background of early post-war imaging of such women and more recent research on female perpetration during wartime, an analysis of Dutch perpetrators who received severe punishments after the War, is made. Based on unique historical data, the criminal career of these women as World War II perpetrators is analysed. The outcomes show that a notable part already had a criminal record before the war and that the perception of who they were and why they acted the way they did needs reconsideration, since they were not psychologically weak and incompetent. They were generally young, unemployed and low educated and they planned and committed their crimes of treasons in order to create better living conditions for themselves. In fact, one can claim that these women are likely to be ordinary people influenced by dispositional and situational factors.

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