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Journal Articles German History Year : 2018

Forum: Holocaust and the History of Gender and Sexuality


Historians of sexuality in the Holocaust go where most fear to tread: Lisa Heineman called the intersection ‘doubly unspeakable’. Why is it important to explore the history of sexuality in the Holocaust and what are the methodological, ethical and political issues at stake? In this Forum, five historians of gender, sexuality, Nazism and the Holocaust discuss what the field of Holocaust history gains from integrating sexuality and gender as analytical categories. By connecting Holocaust studies to the history of sexuality, the field gains, as we will argue, new theoretical insights, recognizing power hierarchies and societal shifts. As the scholarship moves to examining gender and sexuality in the Holocaust beyond a sole (if understandable) focus on sexual violence, topics like agency, love and prostitution, same sex desire and memory and subjectivity of both the perpetrators and victims come to the fore. What are we allowed to research? Why do we consider so many topics connected to mass violence and sexuality as taboo? How are we to make sense of them? The history of sexuality and gender not only introduces new topics to Holocaust studies; it also offers, more importantly, new perspectives on familiar themes.



Dates and versions

hal-03399647 , version 1 (24-10-2021)



Farges Patrick, Doris Bergen, Atina Grossmann, Anna Hájková, Elissa Mailänder. Forum: Holocaust and the History of Gender and Sexuality. German History, 2018, 36 (1), pp.78-100. ⟨10.1093/gerhis/ghx123⟩. ⟨hal-03399647⟩
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