Gisela Bock

Gisela Bock (born 1942 in Karlsruhe, Germany) is a German historian. She studied in Freiburg, Berlin, Paris and Rome. She took her doctorate at the Free University Berlin in 1971 (on early modern intellectual history in Italy) and her Habilitation at the Technical University Berlin in 1984. She has taught at the Free University Berlin (1971-1983) and was professor at the European University Institute (1985-1989) in Florence, Italy, at the University of Bielefeld (1989-1997) and then at the Free University Berlin. She retired in 2007.

In the 1970s, Bock was active in the international campaign for ''"wages for/against housework“'' and was one of the pioneers in the emergence and establishment of ''"women and gender"'' history. She was a co-founder of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History (1987). Bock's best known works are her theoretical articles on gender history and the volume Women in European History (all published in many languages).

Published only in German, her 1986 book, ''Zwangssterilisation im Nationalsozialismus'' (Compulsory Sterilization in National Socialism), was a study of the 400,000 compulsory sterilizations performed in Nazi Germany on "genetically inferior" men and women. Bock examined the history of sterilization in Nazi Germany with respect to the perpetrators as well as the victims, both women and men. She showed how the treatment and the experience of male and female victims were both similar and different, and she argued that Nazi gender policy was shaped by Nazi racism just as Nazi race policy was shaped by gender. Bock also examined the Nazi sterilization policy as an integral part of the regime's population policy as well as a prelude to Nazi genocide.
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