Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Master's Thesis

Degree Name

History, MA


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Joshua Goode

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Wendy Lower

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Abigail J Beck


Comfort women, German women, Memorials, Rape, Representations, Sexual Violence

Subject Categories

History | Museum Studies


Memorials are connected to the geographical and historical moment during which they were built. Despite the myriad of monuments and memorials created in the wake of World War II, the widespread rape of women, has been largely absent from this commemorative landscape. Now that rape is considered a crime of war, there have been isolated attempts to establish memorials for victims of rape. These attempts have appeared in different geographies, which have created different kinds of memorials. In the Pacific Theater, the Japanese Imperial Army from 1932 to 1945, brutally coerced tens of thousands of Asian women into the “comfort system” to work as sex slaves. These sexually exploited women were euphemistically called comfort women. In East-Central Europe, approximately two million German women were raped during the Soviet liberation and occupation, 1945 to 1949. This thesis examines three public memorials that memorialize rape as a particular violent assault against the individual woman and will consider the political, historical and geographical contexts of these three memorials.