By Barbara Kay
Originally published as "Hitler's Willing Handmaids" in The Dorchester Review, Spring/Summer 2014, vol. 4 no. 1, pp. 3-10. Printed in Quebec by Marquis Imprimeur Inc. ©2014 The Dorchester Review (ISSN 1925-7600).
IN 1986 MARGARET Atwood, the doyenne of Canadian literature, published The Handmaid’s Tale about a future American dystopia in which women are forced into the role of reproductive slaves to conservative patriarchs. The inspiration for her fantasy seems to have been the Nazi Lebensborn program, which saw fertile young women lodged at breeding farms for the Third Reich, ready to be impregnated by SS officers in order to boost and improve Germany’s Aryan stock.
On the surface, the analogy seems apt, but it dissolves instantly under scrutiny. For unlike Ms Atwood’s fictional victims, German women were not forced into the breeding program. They were not victims at all. Quite the contrary. The Lebensborn handmaids were eager volunteers. In a regime that prized traditional female qualities, the program conferred social capital of a high order on mothers of future Aryans, not to mention the perks of nutritious food and excellent medical care under the caring supervision of Heinrich Himmler’s minions. Apparently, copulating with fit, virile young men and bearing a racially valuable child was not considered the fate worse than death that Ms Atwood imagined.
It is quite understandable that in Ms Atwood’s vision of a totalitarian society, half the population — men — would be liable for its evils, and the other half — women — either its victims or innocent bystanders. For Ms Atwood is an ardent feminist, and feminist ideology comprehends moral turpitude in women as provoked or self-defensive. It would also never occur to a feminist that women would freely collude in the triumphalism of a totalitarian vision. In reality, the Nazi regime could only function, let alone flourish, with the full cooperation of both sexes. Women in Nazi Germany were as fanatically committed, emotionally and ideologically, to Hitler’s Reich as German men.
Stories of male Nazis who committed war crimes have been comprehensively harvested. But the role of women in furthering the ambitions of the Reich, through fair means or foul, has until recently remained relatively untilled soil. Women of the Reich have been treated in manichean terms: as innocents — baby machines — or as freaks of nature, sadistic, sexually deviant camp guard monsters like Ilse Koch, the “Bitch of Buchenwald,” and Ilse Grese, “Beast of Bergen-Belsen,” who captured public attention in the post-war trials. But ordinary women, who were perceived as mere cogs in the Nazi war machine, were rarely condemned for their participation in the Holocaust’s well-documented atrocities.
Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, by American historian Wendy Lower, bridges this historical gap with her compelling examination of the eastern front — Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus, and Ukraine — as the staging-ground for crimes perpetrated or abetted, voluntarily and enthusiastically, by hundreds of thousands of German women. Their participation took diverse forms: as “desk murderers” — administrators, archivers and expediters of murders in the Adolf Eichmann mould; as nurses carrying out mass “mercy” killing; as teachers, “civilizing” eastern barbarians; and as the collaborative lovers and wives of murderous men.
Lower’s impetus for writing the book — twenty years in meticulously researched gestation — was a 1992 visit to Kiev, where she fell upon previously hidden documentation from Soviet Russia. In the trove were revelations of the 500,000 women who went east between 1933-1945 to the “Bloodlands,” home to Europe’s largest concentration of Jews. Employment opportunities abounded in the East for those who answered the Reich’s call, and hundreds of thousands of women did. And not just for jobs. There were, after all, many employment possibilities in Germany.
Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus, and Ukraine were the staging-ground for crimes perpetrated voluntarily and enthusiastically by hundreds of thousands of German women.
Women went East for a variety of reasons: for new career challenges, to be sure, but also to escape lives of dull conformity, to find romantic adventure with heroic warrior men in a rising tide of nationalist fervour and, not least for many of them, to prove their personal devotion to Hitler and his racially triumphalist vision.
Lower combines biography and commentary, the warp and woof of her subjects (the Furies, with snakes for hair, were in Greek myth the goddesses of revenge). The warp is sourced from post-war interrogation and trial transcripts, interviews, wartime letters and memoirs of thirteen women, whose disparate routes to evil offer a microcosm of the motivations, choices, and post-war fortunes of women who were not camp guards, and not trained to be violent or cruel, but who became so when they were caught up in Ostrausch, the “eastern rush.” The woof is commentary on the changing lives of German women between the wars, the social conditions that both emancipated them (like British and American women filling the void in factory and white-collar employment) and then, for ideological reasons, “emancipated them from their emancipation.”
What does this paradoxical statement mean?
It is best exemplified by a photograph in the book of one of Lower’s more sinister Furies, Erna Petri, née Kürbe.
In it, a sturdy young woman of peasant mien sits astride a powerful motorcycle, grinning proudly at the camera. One would expect to see her dressed in leather pants and jacket. But no, she is wearing a full-body apron, and not by chance, but by choice.
Petri embodied the two extremes of German femininity that fused in uneasy alliance amongst her “lost generation” of women who grew up in the Weimar Republic and came to adulthood in Nazi Germany. In the Weimar Republic they would have been drudging Hausfraus with no particular status. In Hitler’s Germany, the employment world was their oyster and the route to the conventional equality women sought and achieved in the West.
Nazism derailed that movement, recalling women to a form of ancestor-worship feminism, in which the female ideal was the progenitive, nurturing mother of the Race. It was their spotless aprons — Nazism was obsessed with “hygiene” — that signified their “cultural and biological Germanness.” The motorcycle spelled liberation from a traditional cultural stereotype, but the apron signified social and ideological status conferred by God — or rather the Führer, the pagan equivalent of God in Germany. And in the biologically fuelled culture of the Reich, the pregnant belly was “the female badge of honor.”
Hitler’s Furies were mostly young women. The average age of Germany’s 3,500 female concentration camp guards was 26 (one was only 15). In what environment had they grown up? A third of Germany’s female population — 13 million of 40 million women — was actively engaged in some or other Nazi organization (the Weimar Republic saw an explosion of ragtag movements, vigilante groups and organized parties; the Nazi Party was one of 40). No matter what their affiliation, the general motif was Völkisch, unabashedly xenophobic and anti-Semitic, promising unity through racial purity, romanticizing Germany’s agrarian past (“Blood and Soil”), and seeking vengeance for Germany’s defeat in 1918.
German boys were prepared for their future warrior roles in Hitlerjügend, the Hitler Youth. Everyone knows that. But most people are probably not aware of the Bund Deutschen Mädel — the League of German Girls — the compulsory girls’ wing. There, already steeped in revanchism since early postwar childhood, German girls were trained to meet the standards of the ideal Aryan woman, which did not call for battle but demanded an identification of their bodies with the glorious destiny of the Reich.
High school girls, for example, were given pamphlets on how to choose a husband. The first question they were told to ask potential suitors was, “What is your racial background?” They would take child care courses on “racial hygiene.” They studied phrenology in order to recognize the racially impure.
Revenge would be exacted by the sword and the cradle. The round heads, straight noses, blue eyes, erect bodies, aprons and child-bearing hips of German women were no longer the symbols of submission to mere men but to the Führer who, in his 1934 Nuremberg Rally address, had said: “What man offers in heroism on the field of battle, woman equals with unending perseverance and sacrifice, with unending pain and suffering.”
In their willing servitude to Hitler, no personal humiliation was too insulting. Prospective brides of SS men, for example, hundreds of thousands of them, were subjected to exhaustive racial background checks (all the way back to the mid-eighteenth century), invasive gynecological exams and tests on their domestic skills, the results of which were routed to Heinrich Himmler’s personal attention for his stamp of approval or rejection.
It was Himmler who recognized that women’s organizational skills were under-utilized as merely fertile brides and camp guards. He broadened their realm of participation, ordering the establishment of a female reporting and clerical unit, the SS Frauen Korps. When the mobile security units known as the Einsatzgruppen were gunning down Soviet Jews — close to 500,000 by the end of 1941 — it was Himmler’s Furies who typed up the damning reports.
The Furies: Three Portraits
Erna Petri, SS wife
Erna Kürbe, the young aproned woman on the motorcycle, was a farmer’s daughter from Thuringia, where support for Hitler ran high. She escaped what would have been a banal, agrarian life when she married fellow Thuringian Horst Petri, a rising SS star who would become the first chief of Himmler’s Race and Resettlement Office. She went east with Horst and their small son in June 1942 to Grzenda in Eastern Galicia, near the LvivLublin railway line, which was used to ship Galician Jews to killing centres in Poland. There, a life of luxury in a large, whitepillared manor set amongst gardens and rolling farmland, with control (and no oversight) over 70 Polish, Ukrainian, and Jewish forced labourers, provided a pleasant contrast to the oppressive family farm of Erna’s youth.
The Petris’ new status and a lack of moral constraint unleashed sadistic impulses in both. Horst beat his labourers and sexually assaulted the servants. Both Horst and Erna enjoyed hunting down and shooting Jews who escaped the railway cars and ghetto liquidations.
Riding in her carriage in the summer of 1943, Erna saw a group of ragged children at the side of the road. She knew they must be Jews escaping deportation. Erna beckoned to them, brought them home (in which were present her by then two children, plus her visiting mother-in-law and uncle), and calmed their fears with food. Then she took them to killing pits near the house, aligned them in a row and, one by one, shot them in the back of the neck. Too exhausted to flee, each simply waited his turn.
Erna Petri was tried for this and other crimes in East Germany after the war. Seventeen witness statements of former Polish and Ukrainian labourers damned her. But of the 12,890 people to stand trial for Nazi crimes in East Germany between 1945 and 1989 she was one of very few German women to be convicted for killing Jews.
Erna claimed to have been a victim of Nazi propaganda, acting under pressure from her husband, a palpable lie: “I sacrificed myself for my husband, the man my parents warned me about.” Initially she explained how she had fed the children before killing them, expecting the court to be moved by her kindness. Another excuse was her wish to prove herself to the SS (who never asked for proof): “I wanted to show [the SS] that I, as a woman, could conduct myself like a man. So I shot four Jews and six Jewish children.” She was full of contradictory explanations, and so forthcoming about the details of her crimes that the prosecution had to cut her off (“Thank you, we have heard enough”).
Horst was executed. Erna received a life sentence, the only Fury to receive a fitting punishment for her crimes. (If she had been arrested in West Germany, where sympathy for women ran high, she might not even have been tried or punished at all. Even so, she gained the sympathy of some officials as “from time to time she showed human emotions,” but her willingness to kill children overrode the natural chivalry of most observers). She never showed remorse, and never accepted the justice of her incarceration. She was released in 1992 for health reasons, and settled in Bavaria, where she had been invited to enjoy the Alpine air in daily strolls around the lake as the guest of Gudrun Burwitz, daughter of Heinrich Himmler. She died in 2000, aged 80.
Johanna Altvater a.k.a “Fraülein Hanna,” secretary
Johanna Altvater was a working class girl from Minden, west of Hanover. “Part tomboy, part wisecracking flirt,” she went from the League of German Girls to train as a business secretary and won plaudits for her punctuality and strong work ethic.
Restless, a passionate Nazi, Johanna longed to be close to the war action. She was tapped for service in the Ukraine, in the town of Volodymyr-Volynsky. There she was remembered by dozens of Holocaust survivors from Israel, the United States, and Canada as the epitome of evil.
From the Volodymyr-Volynsky ghetto, Jews were driven to the fields of Piatydny, where trenches had been dug by Jewish labourers for their graves. Over a two-week period 15,000 Jews were shot, overseen by regional commissar Wilhelm Westerheide, Altvater’s boss and probable lover. Banquet tables were set up near the shooting site, and Altvater happily dined to the mixed accompaniment of music and gunfire. Executioners would alternate between eating and shooting.
Killing children was Altvater’s “nasty habit.” She would lure children with candy, then shoot them in the mouth with her small silver pistol.
On Sept. 16, 1942 Altvater entered the local ghetto, picked up a toddler and slammed its head into the wall, then threw the child at the feet of its father. There were no German officers present. It was entirely her own idea. In his post-war witness statement, the surviving father said, “Such sadism from a woman I have never seen.”
On another occasion, Altvater, who liked to wear a man’s brown Nazi uniform (other women despised her for this “transgender” symbolism), burst into the Jewish hospital “like a cattle herder,” picked up a child and threw it from the third floor balcony. She then pushed older children to the balcony and shoved them over the rail.
At trial she presented herself as a sensitive woman who abhorred violence, pleading she was merely a “secretary” and had nothing to do with the 9,000 Jews shot during ghetto liquidations where witnesses placed her in a starring role.
Altvater was acquitted of war crimes — twice — for “insufficient evidence.” There was of course massive evidence, but “the male judiciary remained sceptical of the testimony of Jews, especially of statements that described atrocious female behavior.” Furies who looked matronly or meek, as Altvater contrived to do, did not seem capable of evil to the men of the bench, and were judged accordingly.
Altvater returned, unrepentant, to private life. After the war she found work in a child welfare office, spending recreational time at reunions of Nazi Youth.
Pauline Kneissler, nurse
Of all the female professions, nursing offered the highest concentration of documented crimes, euthanasia and medical experiments. It was nurses who participated in selections, who escorted victims to the gas chambers, who administered death by sleeping pills, lethal injections, and starvation. Their victims were no-longer-useful troops, deformed babies, disabled adolescents and, of course, Jews. All in the name of progress or hygiene.
Nursing was also, ideologically speaking, the profession most intimately associated with Nazi goals. Nurses were taught that “hatred is noble.” Medical personnel murdered more than 200,000 victims in Germany, Austria, and the borderlands of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Pauline Kneissler came from a well-off German family in Odessa who had moved to Westphalia after the Revolution. A thirsty vessel for Nazi propaganda as a girl, Kneissler studied nursing, perhaps in emulation of Himmler’s wife, a proud nurse. She joined the Nazi Party in 1937 and was soon approached, with twenty other nurses, for the Ministry of the Interior’s euthanasia program. In her post-war trial testimony, as an unusually forthcoming and honest witness, Kneissler said the program “was absolutely voluntary for those present to agree to participate. None of us had any objections to this program … we were sworn to secrecy and obedience.”
Kneissler was assigned to Grafeneck Castle, an isolated hospital some 40 miles from Stuttgart where 9,839 victims were euthanized in 1940. Kneissler testified that the victims “were not at all particularly serious cases.” About seventy arriving per day, some of them in “good physical condition,” they were usually gassed and cremated within 24 hours. If they were to die by injections or medicines, she testified, it took two nurses to force compliance. The cause of death and names of doctors would be falsified, the ashes mixed and urns sent to relatives with a form letter. Kneissler declared she was not upset by any of this, because “death by gas doesn’t hurt.” Kneissler was a career killer at Grafeneck and other sites. She worked as long as she could. Her last victim, a four-year old boy, was killed on May 29, 1945 — 33 days after US troops had marched into Kaufbeuren.
At her trial, she presented herself as a martyr who killed for mercy’s sake: “My life was one of dedication and self-sacrifice … Never was I cruel to persons ... and for this today I must suffer and suffer.” Kneissler was sentenced to three years’ hard labour and released after a year.
Josefine Block, SS wife
Middle-class Austrian Josefina Block joined the Nazi Party at age 23 and made her way to administrative work at Vienna’s Gestapo station. She married SS officer Hans Block in 1939 and they were assigned a nice apartment made available when its Jewish owners were deported to Nisko in Poland. The Blocks were then sent to Drohobych in the Ukraine, where they presided over the fates of 10,000 Poles, 10,000 Ukrainians and 15,000 Jews.
Josefine, who swaggered about with a riding crop, was quixotic in her behavior, but she was also known as especially sadistic toward children. Post-war witnesses testified that she killed a Jewish child by ramming it with her baby carriage (with her own child inside). Once a little girl approached her, begging for her life. “I will help you,” Block reportedly said, then grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the ground and stomped her to death.
Block was charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and murder. But she insisted she had never hurt anyone, and that the Jews were out to get her for revenge. She proclaimed herself a “friend of the Jews,” chutzpah of a high order. And yet Block’s blame-the-victim defence was taken seriously in a 1949 Vienna courtroom.
It was hard for many of the Furies to comprehend that such a fuss was being made over the loss of Jewish lives. The court heard comments like, “It was just that some Jews were shot” or that a given crime was “that Jewish thing from the war.” Erika Raeder, wife of the Grand Admiral of Germany’s navy, gained sympathy in the postwar West German press when she stated, “The treatment we Germans have had to endure is worse than anything that has happened to the Jews.”
Block also attempted to blame her husband, a common and seemingly reflexive tactic amongst the Furies. She adduced her pregnancy as a mitigating factor. The shape-shifting of female war criminals — voluntary, male-emulating killers then, fragile, womanly victims of men now — was a common tactic. Also effective were amnesia (“I can’t remember,” “I don’t recall …”) and pleas of youth (“Oh, I was so young in those days”). Crying during testimony was officially noted and softened judicial hearts.
Playing the victim card worked. Gender bias had crept into the entire judicial process, “beginning with the pursuit of criminals, continuing with the questioning, and concluding with the sentencing.” Men were judged by the courts according to their responsibilities and ideology as Hitler’s “primary accomplices.” Nobody asked them if they had been pressured by their wives. Like all the Furies tried in the West, Block was acquitted.
Indeed, Austria has not tried or convicted any Nazi criminal, male or female, since the 1970s — an irony considering Vienna was home to world-renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who died in 2005.
Between 1945 and 1955, twenty-six women were sentenced to death for crimes committed in medical units and in concentration camps. But there were fewer than ten indictments of German women who committed murder or were accessories to mass shootings and ghetto liquidations.
One can understand the courts’ gender bias in the light of German women’s sufferings as the war drew to a close. As the Reich unravelled and Russian troops swarmed towards Berlin, women were subjected to Soviet mass rape and other violence. In postwar Germany, women were perceived as heroic victims, struggling to provide for fatherless children killed in the war. The trope of “rubble women” took hold, those women who literally shovelled away the ruins of bombed cities, providing inspiration for West Germany’s economic recovery and East Germany’s workers’ movement. It was shocking enough for the public to be exposed to the endless litanies of male wartime depredations. The last thing demoralized Germans wanted to hear was evidence of uncoerced female complicity and even initiative in committing war crimes. They turned a blind eye.
One who did not turn away was Robert Kempner who, with his wife Ruth, had written a study, “Women in Nazi Germany.” His research had been commissioned by the US government for use as a benchmark in the denazification of German women. Kempner warned that German women were fanatical supporters of the Reich, noting that 16 million of them had been mobilized by the Reich Labour Front. In ranking these women according to the “public danger” they presented, Kempner concluded that 600,000 German women were still politically active. He advised US authorities to initiate aggressive purging of administration appointments that had been infiltrated by female Nazis “without illusions about the limitations of their personality range.”
An important lesson from the lives of these and other Furies profiled by Lower is that none of the women had displayed psychopathic traits or were considered socially abnormal in their pre-war lives. They were all fairly mundane women who, until placed in situations where they internalized a “normalization of the perverse,” had never broken the law or physically harmed anyone.
The Furies therefore exemplify the old aphorism that when nothing is forbidden, all is permitted. What German woman before the war could ever imagine herself, as the wife of the commandant at Jaktorow camp near Lviv did, spontaneously ordering a German Shepherd dog to attack Jewish children working in her camp garden and watching as the dog tore them apart?
Violence goes hand in hand with eroticism. Even those women who did not commit crimes were often excitedly caught up in the sexually charged atmosphere of ritualized male violence. A secretary testified that after an Aktion — a mass killing — the executioners would return to their units and drink schnapps until, intoxicated, they would repair to the women’s dormitories and drag women away for sex. (Her actual words were, “they sought our company.”)
Ghettos provided a special fascination for German women in the East. Many of the Furies, although committed Nazis, were not even especially anti-Semitic until they were in close proximity to Jews and in positions of power over them. Then what they saw through the lens of their indoctrination in racial hygiene was alien creatures, not human beings.
Ghettos came in all sizes. In a village, a ghetto could be a small demarcated area a few steps away from the town square. They were not as isolated from mainstream life as most people assume. The Jews could not leave the ghetto, but Germans could come and go as they pleased. Ghettos in the East became sites of tourism, shopping and romantic outings, the “ghetto experience.” On their days off, secretaries might say, “Today we are going to the ghetto.” Then they would browse and sometimes purchase Jews’ meager possessions laid out on the sidewalks, and stroll about as one would in a zoo. In a letter to her fiancé about her adventures in the Lodz ghetto, the daughter of the district chief of Warthegau wrote of her ghetto experience in Poland, “You mostly see just riff-raff loafing about.” It was presumed that, as one visitor noted, Jews “don’t feel this humiliation.” As Lower writes, “It was an act of voyeurism that affirmed German superiority.”
The Furies set off for the East in a haze of idealism and naiveté. They were not prepared for the blood, gore, and stench that greeted them. Most adapted and suppressed whatever scruples they may have felt initially. But Lower properly and generously credits those (pathetically few) women who reacted to what they saw with indignation rather than acceptance. She cites the letters and memoirs of those rare women who later published or spoke about the atrocities they witnessed and the disgust they felt, but could not express at the time.
"Playing the victim card worked. The shape-shifting of female war criminals — voluntary, male-emulating killers then, fragile, womanly victims of men now — was a common tactic"
A former law student, Annette Schücking, for example, witnessed Jews being rounded up for deportation in 1942, and wrote to her mother: “What Papa says is true; people with no moral inhibitions exude a strange odor … many of them really do smell like blood. Oh Mama, what an enormous slaughterhouse the world is.”
Ilse Struwe, at first a loyal army staff secretary like 10,000 others, in Rivne observed an entire Aktion, one of several regional massacres in Nazi-occupied Ukraine, and wondered why the Jews did nothing to save themselves. She became disillusioned about the war when defeat at Stalingrad seemed likely. She began to question everything, especially the policy of mass murder. In a memoir she recalls crying incessantly over what she had witnessed, and being fearful of befriending anyone.
Ingelene Ivens was a schoolteacher from Kiel, sent to Poznan to run a one-room schoolhouse. There she contributed to the regime’s genocidal program: by excluding non-German children from the school system; by indoctrinating ethnic Germans in Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltics; by plundering Jewish and Polish property; and by abandoning her students — many of them orphans — when the Nazis evacuated the East. In the early 1970s Ivens returned to Poznan, curious to know what had happened to the children she had abandoned. She found that they had all been killed by Red Army conquerors in 1945. She mourned the children and wrote a confessional memoir.
Handmaids — Imagined and Real
The Handmaid’s Tale was meant by Margaret Atwood to be a cautionary tale. But we should not accord critical respect to any vision of a future dystopia that is based in ideology rather than psychological and historical reality. Ms Atwood’s feminist projection, which perhaps millions of high school and university students have now been obliged to study, targets Christian conservatives as villains desirous of and capable of setting up a forced breeding program. This is a ludicrous notion, since Christian conservative men are the least likely to assent to any government intrusion into their private — let alone their daughters’ sexual — lives. Only in a society in which Christian principles have been utterly suppressed could the kind of totalitarian impulses that Ms Atwood warns against emerge, as in the scarlet bloom of mindless bloodletting we call the Holocaust.
The world is awash in cautionary tales about men. Hitler’s Furies is the cautionary tale that should find its way into every Women’s/Gender Studies program in the West. Women are often victims of male violence, but they are not only victims. Rare is the novel that illuminates women’s unprovoked violence against their sexual partners of the opposite or the same sex; rarer still the novel that illuminates women’s predatory or abusive treatment of children. Given the right circumstances, ordinary women can, in lesser numbers than men, but with no less malevolence, exhibit cruelty to the helpless.
In the postwar years, those who judged the Furies were blinded by vestigial chivalry. Are our courts today — family courts, criminal courts, superior courts, supreme courts — sometimes hampered in their objectivity by misbegotten assumptions and a kind of misandry?
Hitler’s Furies treats women with the respect they deserve as complex human beings and the true moral equals of men: equally capable of good and equally capable of evil. Without recognition of this equality principle, there can be no justice. It takes a certain courage in our era to publish a book exemplifying that truth, and Wendy Lower is to be commended both for her great achievement in scholarship and for the moral clarity she has brought to its melancholy making.
Barbara Kay writes for the National Post and the Epoch Times. She completed degrees in English Literature as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at both the University of Toronto and McGill, and taught English Literature and Composition at Concordia and several Montreal Cégeps. She was a contributor to and served on the board of Cité Libre, and serves on the Advisory Board of The Dorchester Review.
Originally published as "Hitler's Willing Handmaids" in The Dorchester Review, Spring/Summer 2014, vol. 4 no. 1, pp. 3-10. Printed in Quebec by Marquis Imprimeur Inc. ©2014 The Dorchester Review (ISSN 1925-7600).