Southern Illinois University Students Investigate German Women’s Resistance to the Nazi Regime

Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are conducting a research project on German women who opposed the Nazi regime prior to and during World War II. The project originated as a class assignment but has grown into a much larger translation project.

Leia Ruebling, a senior majoring in German studies, explains that “women weren’t talked about in World War II. Often you only hear about the women who stayed at home or did nothing during the war, but this is the other side, portraying the women who fought and were actively resisting.”

The students are translating into English a set of biographies that were gathered for an exhibit by the German Resistance Research Council in Frankfurt. Until now, these stories have never been available to non-German readers. The translation process can be tedious, as some German words can have several meanings. So the students comb through the texts translating, word by word and sentence by sentence. Ruebling stated that “it’s like a big puzzle.”

Carola Daffner, an associate professor of German at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is overseeing the project. She has taught at the university since 2007 and currently is director of international studies at the university. Dr. Daffner earned a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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