Join us on Zoom on September 28 at 2pm ADT for a discussion accompanying the launch of the German History special issue “Sexuality, Holocaust, Stigma.”

About this special issue of German History

Far too often, when historians address sexual violence or rape, they instrumentalize these issues as a titillating point to draw attention. This special issue of the journal German History, entitled “Sexuality, Holocaust, Stigma” discusses how to write about sexuality without salaciousness, without reducing the protagonists to objects.

In particular, we are interested in the notion of stigma: it is commonplace that bringing up history of sexuality makes people uncomfortable. But what is it exactly about sexuality that is stigmatized? Which topics are particularly stigmatized? The articles in this special issue examine these topics while deliberately taking the “upset,” the scandal out of them.

Another crucial aspect is the inclusion of queer perspectives. This journal issue sets out to critique the heteronormative sexual power hierarchies that mark certain acts and biographies as transgressive, and to examine how stigmatization of certain sexual conducts during the Holocaust has come about.


  • Jennifer Evans, Carleton University
  • Dorota Glowacka , University of King’s College
  • Anna Hájková , University of Warwick
  • Nicholas Stargardt , University of Oxford

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Image: Emily Kopley, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons