Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Warwick
Website URL
Holocaust, Jewish history, history of sexuality, queer history, everyday life
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr Anna Hájková is Assistant Professor of Modern Continental history at the University of Warwick. My book manuscript on everyday history of Theresienstadt was awarded the Irma Rosenberg as well as the Herbert Steiner prize for 2014. I was coeditor of Theresienstädter Studien und Dokumente, and she also co-edited Alltag im Holocaust: Jüdisches Leben im Großdeutschen Reich, 1941-1945. My essay on sexual barter received the Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship 2013. My work examines the society in the camps, Jewish social and political elites, issues of nationalism and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and also the Jewish Councils. In this context, I have been working on the last Elder of the Jews of Terezín, Benjamin Murmelstein.

I am currently work on two projects: one, titled Boundaries of the Narratable: Transgressive Sexuality and the Holocaust. Why were certain stories connected to sexuality of the Holocaust victims, such as people who engaged in same sex conduct, never told? My work explores the intersection of sexuality and violence in the Holocaust, and the erasure of certain sexualities from what has become the Holocaust canon. I examine the narrative erasure of lesbians and gays who were deported as Jews, homophobia of the victim society, sex barter, Jewish functionaries often marked as sexually deviant, mothers who abandonded their children, and also Jewish informers. In examining cases of what I term “transgressive sexuality,” I contribute to our understanding of gender and sexual violence, consent, normative behavior during the Holocaust, and the politics of Holocaust archives. Currently I am writing a trade book on the Neuengamme guard Anneliese Kohlmann, analyzing her relationships with a Jewish woman prisoner, Helene Sommer (pseudonym), and Sommer’s previous relationship with a male prisoner functionary in Auschwitz, Willy Brachmann.

My other book project, Dreamers of a New Day: Building Socialism in Central Europe, 1930-1970, is a long-durée study of a cohort of leftist intellectuals who built socialism in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and (East) Germany. I follow their lives from their university studies to the point of their politicization; to the war, and to their postwar quest to build a better, just society. I trace them further through their work in the Stalinist 1950s and into the next decade, culminating in their contribution to the notion of socialism with a human face. I am interested in two central questions: first, what is ideology and second, how is it lived.

Recent Publications

‘Medicine in Theresienstadt,’ forthcoming in Social History of Medicine.


‘Den Holocaust queer erzählen,’ Sexualitäten Jahrbuch2018, 86-110


‘Holocaust and the History of Gender and Sexuality,’ Forum in German History(with Elissa Mailänder, Atina Grossmann, Doris Bergen, and Patrick Farges), 36,1, (February 2018): 78–100


‘What Kind of Narrative is Legal Testimony?: Terezín Survivors Speaking Before Czechoslovak, Austrian, and Western German Justice,’ in Rethinking Holocaust Justice: Essays Across Disciplines, ed. Norman Goda (New York: Berghahn, 2017): 71-99


‘Dahlem, Westerbork, Theresienstadt, Seattle: The Veit Simon Children, Class, and the Transnational in the Holocaust history’ (with Maria von der Heydt), European History Review, 24,5 (2017): 732-758


‘Women as citizens in the Theresienstadt prisoner community,’ Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence (, June 27, 2016


Poor Devils of the Camps: Dutch Jews in the Terezín Ghetto, 1943-1945,” Yad Vashem Studies, 43,1 (2015), 77-111


‘To Terezín and Back: Czech Jews and their Bonds of Belonging between Theresienstadt and Postwar Czechoslovakia,’ Dapim(March 2014), 38-55


‘Sexual Barter in Times of Genocide: Negotiating the Sexual Economy of the Theresienstadt Ghetto,’ in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 38, no. 3 (spring 2013): 503-533

Recipient of the Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship 2013

Media Coverage
Ha'aretz, Tablet, taz, Süddeutsche, Právo, A2arm, idnes
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Eastern Europe, Germany, Netherlands, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Genocide, Holocaust & Nazi Persecution, Race, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, World War II