Queering Holocaust History

Artistic-academic interventions in Holocaust remembrance policy (and politics)

For years, researchers and historians of commemorative culture had marginalised the persecution of gay men during the Holocaust, as well as that of other gender-oriented or sexually transgressive people. It was only in the mid-1980s that the memorial sites of former concentration camps gradually turned their attention to these groups of victims. The continuity of stigmatisation following World War II not only resulted in silencing the survivors, but also produced a lasting legacy. In this two-part project, the Schwules Museum* wished to not only honour these forgotten individuals and their history of persecution, but also to underscore their resilience.
Inspired by the life stories of queer resistance fighters, Tucké Royale’s presented a ‘revenge musical’ entitled “Mit Dolores habt ihr nicht gerechnet” (You didn’t count on Dolores), which told the story of a fictitious hero/heroine in Yiddish, German and Russian. The protagonist of the play was a puppet, animated by four puppeteers and musically accompanied by a four-piece band. The play was a co-production by the Puppentheater Halle, the Gorki Theater Berlin and Kampnagel Hamburg, and has been performed at each of these locations. The project organisers also held an international research conference on the theme “Holocaust, Sexuality, Stigma”, headed by Anna Hájková and Birgit Bosold. The conference has reviewed the current state of research related to this subject, as well as explored possibilities of writing a history of the Holocaust that incorporated queer perspectives with respect to queer theory. Against this background, the conference has examined processes of stigmatisation and the power structures behind them. Both parts of the project have been combined in a public podium discussion at the Gorki Theater. The discussion focused on how the history of sexualities could contribute to honouring the forgotten stories of heavily marginalised individuals, and how artistic forms and academic research could mutually influence each other.

Project manager: Birgit Bosold
Artistic director: Tucké Royale
Participants: Ted Gaier, Yuriy Gurzhy (UA), Tobias Herzberg, Angy Lord, Josa David Marx, Oscar Olivo (US), Johannes Maria Schmit, Paula Sell
Conference directors: Anna Hájková (GB), Birgit Bosold
Keynote speaker: Elissa Mailänder (FR)
Participants: Dagmar Herzog (US), Atina Grossmann (US), Laurie Marhoefer (US), Elissa Mailänder (FR), Regina Mühlhäuser, Cornelie Osborne (GB), Annette Timm (CA)

Additional Venues:

Kampnagel, Hamburg: 10–13 Jan. 2018 (three to four performances planned);
Puppentheater Halle: 18–19 Jan. 2018;

International working conference “Holocaust, Sexuality, Stigma”, Berlin: 6–8 Dec. 2017


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 26 October, 2017 to 28 October, 2017: Performances

    Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin


Schwules Museum*

Lützowstraße 73
10785 Berlin

www.schwulesmuseum.de (external link, opens in a new window)