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“I Was Colonel Schultz’s Private Bitch”

There's a fascinating article in The New York Times about postwar pornographic pulp in 1960s Israel called Stalags. The focus of these S&M stories, which captivated a generation of Israeli males: Nazis and prisoners of war. The books told perverse … Read More

By / September 6, 2007

There's a fascinating article in The New York Times about postwar pornographic pulp in 1960s Israel called Stalags. The focus of these S&M stories, which captivated a generation of Israeli males: Nazis and prisoners of war.

The books told perverse tales of captured American or British pilots being abused by sadistic female SS officers outfitted with whips and boots. The plot usually ended with the male protagonists taking revenge, by raping and killing their tormentors.

After decades in dusty back rooms and closets, the Stalags, a peculiar Hebrew concoction of Nazism, sex and violence, are re-emerging in the public eye. And with them comes a rekindled debate on the cultural representation here of Nazism and the Holocaust, and whether they have been unduly mixed in with a kind of sexual perversion and voyeurism that has permeated even the school curriculum.

The article focuses on a new documentary, "Stalags: Holocaust and Pornography in Israel,” premiering at the Jerusalem Film Festival. It doesn't mention the similar genre in American pulp of the 50s, 60s and 70s — books like Men's Adventure (in the US, of course, we added sadistic Japanese to the iconography of WWII fiends). In the Israeli versions, the fascination with sexual violence and the fear of emasculation offer some uncomfortable insights, to say the least, into Israeli society. The following excerpt from the documentary would make a nice supplement to any Introduction to Modern Israel class.

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