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24.11.21

The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman

The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman’ is a work of documentary theatre that offers a rare glimpse into a queer life during the Holocaust. Born in 1928 in Germany, Margot Heuman is a survivor of Theresienstadt ghetto, Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen. She is the first lesbian Holocaust survivor to bear testimony. Based on the historian Anna Hájková’s interviews with Heuman, we present a poignant look on coming of age as a Jewish queer woman in the concentration camps, on love, choices, sexual violence, homophobia, and survival.

Proudly co-hosted the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association and Wiener Holocaust Library in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the first transport to Theresienstadt ghetto on 24 November 1941. We are showing “The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman,” a new play about the only lesbian Holocaust survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Neuengamme to bear testimony. The play, which takes its text from interviews conducted by historian Anna Hájková, offers a poignant look on coming of age as a Jewish queer woman in the concentration camps and reflects on love, choices, sexual violence and sexual barter, homophobia, and survival.

The play is followed by a discussion between the director and co-author of the play, Dr Erika Hughes (Portsmouth University) and Dr Chelsea Sambells (Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association) and chaired by Dr Christine Schmidt (Wiener Holocaust Library). Dr Hughes, author of the forthcoming Holocaust Memory and Youth Performance (Bloomsbury/Methuen), discusses the making of “The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman”; how it fits into the cultural life and theater production in Theresienstadt, and how these are reflected in the archival collections of the two hosting Holocaust institutions, whether it is the Theresienstadt staging of Faust or the homesick letters of a Viennese philatelist in the ghetto library.

The premier of the play will take place at 18.30 GMT. A link will be sent to all attendees to watch (46 minutes running time).

The Q&A held on Zoom will follow from approximately 19.15 GMT to 20.15 GMT.

If joining us from a different country, please check the timezone appropriate to where you are.