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Virtual Book Talk: The Weavers of Trautenau, Janine Holc in conversation with Anna Hájková

April 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Weavers of Trautenau Jewish Female Forced Labor in the Holocaust

Beginning in late 1940, over three thousand Jewish girls and young women were forced from their family homes in Sosnowiec, Poland, and its surrounding towns to worksites in the Sudetenland, in today’s Czech Republic. Believing that they were helping their families to survive, these young people were thrust into a world where they laboured at textile work for twelve hours a day, lived in barracks with little food, and received only periodic news of events back home. By late 1943, their barracks had been transformed into concentration camps, where they were held until liberation in 1945.

Using a fresh approach to testimony collections, Professor Janine P. Holc reconstructs the forced labour experiences of young Jewish females, as told by the women who survived and shared their testimony. Incorporating new source material, the book carefully constructs survivors’ stories while also taking a theoretical approach, one alert to socially constructed, intersectional systems of exploitation and harm. The Weavers of Trautenau elucidates the limits and possibilities of social relations inside camps and the challenges of moral and emotional repair in the face of indescribable loss during the Holocaust.

About the Speakers

Janine P. Holc is professor of political science at Loyola University Maryland. She is the author of The Politics of Trauma and Memory Activism: Polish-Jewish Relations Today. The Weavers of Trautenau was a finalist for a US National Jewish Book Award.

Dr Anna Hájková is a Reader of modern European continental history at the University of Warwick, UK, and the author of the celebrated monograph, The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt (OUP 2020).

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This event is free, although registration via the link below is required. Please note that our free events are run by staff volunteers. Thank you for your patience should we have any technical or audio difficulties. We will do our best to correct them but this is not always possible.



The Weavers of Trautenau Jewish Female Forced Labor in the Holocaust


The Wiener Holocaust Library