Women, Resistance and the Politics of Daily Life in Hitler's Europe

The Case of Yugoslavia in a Comparative Perspective

in Volume 3 (2009): Issue 1 (Mar 2009): The Gender History of Everyday Life

This article uses a comparative transnational model for a study of women’s resistance in Yugoslavia, with particular reference to the Independent State of Croatia. It challenges the dominant paradigm of active resistance in Hitler’s Europe as a largely masculine and military activity. Historians have long recognised the contribution of women to resistance in Yugoslavia; however, an ideologised and politically driven interpretation of wartime behaviour, combined with an overemphasis on active resistance, has militated against a nuanced approach towards the study of dissent in its diverse manifestations. This article proposes that a woman-centred focus on the social, everyday aspects of resistance is illuminating on definitions of and the preconditions necessary for successful resistance as well as on the subject of collaboration and conformism in the Second World War.