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Perpetrator Studies Network


The Women of the Arrow Cross Party: Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War

By Andrea Pető.

This book analyses the actions, background, connections and the eventual trials of Hungarian female perpetrators in the Second World War through the concept of invisibility. It examines why and how far-right women in general and among them several Second World War perpetrators were made invisible by their fellow Arrow Cross Party members in the 1930s and during the war (1939-1945), and later by the Hungarian people’s tribunals responsible for the purge of those guilty of war crimes (1945-1949). It argues that because of their ‘invisibilization’ the legacy of these women could remain alive throughout the years of state socialism and that, furthermore, this legacy has actively contributed to the recent insurgence of far-right politics in Hungary. This book therefore analyses how the invisibility of Second World War perpetrators is connected to  twenty-first century memory politics and the present-day resurgence of far-right movements.

Andrea Pető is Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her previous publications include six monographs and thirty-one edited volumes, while her works on gender, politics, the Holocaust and war have been translated into twenty-three languages. She was awarded the 2018 All European Academies (ALLEA) Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values.

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