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Film: The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman

June 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

In honor of Pride Month, join us for a virtual screening of The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman, a play about the first lesbian Holocaust survivor to bear testimony. A Q&A will take place afterwards with playwright and historian Dr. Anna Hajkova.

The Amazing Life of Margot Heuman is a play about the first lesbian Holocaust survivor to bear testimony. Margot Heuman (1928-2022) was a survivor of Theresienstadt ghetto, Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen. The play, which takes its text from interviews conducted by Warwick University historian Anna Hájková, offers a poignant look on coming of age as a Jewish queer woman in the concentration camps. In the play, Margot Heuman reflects on love, choices, sexual violence and sexual barter, homophobia, and survival. Moving, funny, pragmatic, and original, she reminds us of humanity within the society of Holocaust victims, but also of the stories that have been erased by homophobia. Heuman will most probably remain the only lesbian voice to speak about her experience in the Holocaust. “I am amazing,” she tells her interviewer, and the audience.

Directed by Erika Hughes (Portsmouth University), this work of documentary theatre layers Heuman’s testimony with archival imagery and projection. Actor Ayse Evans, who reads the testimony of Margot, notes that “this is the queer story I never had growing up, but that I am so glad my daughter will have.” This play offers a rare and important glimpse into queer life during the Holocaust, one of the most silenced and marginalized topics of this genocide.

Dr Anna Hájková is Reader of modern European continental history at the University of Warwick. She is the author of the celebrated new study The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt (2020) and People without History are Dust: Queer Desire in the Holocaust (2021), forthcoming in expanded English translation with the University of Toronto Press. She is the pioneer of queer Holocaust history and her work has been recognized with the Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship (2013) and Orfeo Iris Prize (2020).

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