A Czech historian faces a lawsuit at an Frankfurt court whose unnamed woman, whose German mother was imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II. In 1944, she reached the Neuengamme camp on the outskirts of Hamburg, and later traveled to the Bergen-Belsen camp.
It was in Hamburg that the woman, whom Hájková later fictionally referred to as Helena Sommer, met, supervisor Anneliese Kohlmann, who was to fall in love with a prisoner. Kohlmann was a young and handsome woman. She wore pants and walked short-cropped. The prisoners called her Bubi, according to their bubikopf hairstyle.
Sommer’s daughter, an Australian citizen, claimed in 2014, when Hájková contacted her, that the relationship between Kohlmann and her mother was not sexual. According to her, her mother should only use the warden’s affection in an effort to make her stay in the concentration camp more acceptable.
She talked about it with Hájková, who was to promise her that she would not use her mother’s real name in her research. According to The Guardian, however, the historian “simply forgot” about such a promise.
|Anna Hájková (1978) is a historian working at the Department of History of the British University of Warwick.|
The Czech historian, who is working on a book about the life of an SS supervisor, deals with the queer history of the Holocaust and teaches at a British university, gave lectures in Germany and Austria last year. Later, according to The Guardian, she was to publish a photo of a Jewish woman on a social network. She wrote that other prisoners were watching the lesbian couple in disgust. Hájková’s Twitter account is currently not active.
A court in Germany has previously called a public statement about a lesbian and sexual relationship a violation of the posthumous rights to protect the personality of the Jew Sommer. The historian forbade the use of the full name of a Jewish prisoner, as well as without the consent of her daughter to distribute photographs of her mother.
There is no direct evidence
Moreover, it was the photos on the social network that outraged the Australian woman so much that she demanded compensation from the historian. According to The Guardian, it could amount to up to 250 thousand euros (6.8 million crowns).
“There is no direct evidence that my mother has sex with a warden. I demand that the university investigate it properly and that I get compensation for the mental pain it (Hájková) caused me, “quoted The Guardian as saying on Thursday. The University of Warwick did not comment on the situation.
The fact that there is no direct evidence for the allegation of a lesbian sexual relationship should have been confirmed in the Frankfurt court by Hájková herself, who refers to fellow prisoners’ testimonies and court records.
The news contacted Dr. Hájková on Friday with questions concerning the whole case. “My lawyer advised me not to react,” Hájková replied on Monday. However, she has previously defended herself through her lawyer with “freedom of opinion and academic freedom,” added The Guardian.