At the Theresienstadt family camp in Auschwitz thousands of Jews were kept alive in "favorable"living conditions, only to be gassed after six months. Few scholars have examined one of the most influential figures there, Fredy Hirsch, a gay German-Jewish refugee to Czechoslovakia who initiated and managed the "children's block."Hundreds under his care received better food and were spared the brutality prevailing elsewhere in Auschwitz, brightening their final months. How he sacrificed his life for the children offers a particular window into the annihilation of Czech Jewry. The following analyzes changing images of Hirsch in literature and commemoration, the uncertainty surrounding his death, and the meaning survivors ascribed to Hirsch's homosexuality.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations