Hidden Histories: Sexuality in the Holocaust
Event from SU Campaigns & Communities
Tuesday 28 January 2020, 5pm - 7pm
"Sexuality in the Holocaust" delivered by Dr Anna Hájková, for Holocaust Memorial Day
CN: Discussion of non-consensual sexual activity, sexual assault
In Winter 1945, prisoners of the Tiefstack satellite camp in Hamburg watched with a mix of fascination and disgust what they understood as a relationship between their guard Anneliese Kohlmann and a Jewish woman prisoner. Most of the survivors described Kohlmann as “decent.” Yet, the queer relationship was perceived with discomfort, reflecting on wide-spread homophobia in the prisoner society. Using Kohlmann as a case study, I show how to make sense of enforced and consensual sexuality in the camps, and how queer history of the Holocaust allows us to address agency and powerlessness of Holocaust victims.
Dr Anna Hájková is associate professor of modern European continental history at the University of Warwick. Her book The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt is forthcoming 2020 with Oxford University Press. She is working on a book on queer history of the Holocaust and Anneliese Kohlmann. She tweets at @ankahajkova