Polish women who had no respect for their feminine dignity under the occupation, who kept Hitler’s bandits amused, who fornicated with them – today we exclude these women from the circle of honest Polish women, girls, mothers and wives. (…) The judgement of “Social Morality” will pass the sentences (…) and you shall avoid any woman who received such a sentence as you would avoid a leper. We shall all spit on what the Kraut used and enjoyed.

This is a fragment of a brochure titled “The Voice of the Truth”, which came out in Sieradz in 1946. The sentence that would be pronounced by “Social Morality” was, of course, shaving of the head. This action was perceived as an expression of revenge after the war – a spectacle of patriotic humiliation in honour of the victors.

Public shaving of women’s heads in order to stigmatize them was not limited solely to the post-war period of terror. Heads were shaven already during the war, especially in the areas annexed by the Reich. Among the victims of these acts of revenge were also German women who had sexual relationships with Poles. The scenario of the spectacle would always be the same – it was only the executors who changed.

The lecture under the title “The shaved ones. On the spectacle of patriotic humiliation” will base on the available visual documentation of the shaving spectacles found in archives, which will be compared with fragments of post-war feature films. This juxtaposition is intended to reveal the mechanism of this peculiar form of sexual violence, which depended neither on the war action nor signing the peace treaty.