Dialogforum Mauthausen 2024

13.09.2024, 10:00 - 15.09.2024, 16:00 Uhr

„Women in the Holocaust“

Dialogforum Mauthausen 2024
© Mauthausen Memorial / Markus Hechenberger

This year's Dialogforum of the Mauthausen Memorial will take place from 13 to 15 September in the Memorial's Visitor Centre on the topic of "Women in the Holocaust".

Conference language: English

Further information and programme will follow soon.



Dialogforum 2024: Mauthausen, 13 – 15 September 2024

Visitor Center of the Mauthausen Memorial, Erinnerungsstraße 1, 4310 Mauthausen, Austria


The Mauthausen Memorial and WHISC - Women in the Holocaust - International Study Center at Moreshet Mordechai Anielevich Memorial Holocaust Study and Research Center, Givat Haviva, Israel will host the conference which will take place on 13 – 15 September 2024 in Mauthausen, Austria, at the Visitor Center of the Mauthausen Memorial. The working language of the conference will be in English.


The Conference  

The Women in the Holocaust conference will be held in Austria, a country which was already part of the German Reich at the beginning of World War II. It was the home of prominent perpetrators of the Holocaust such as Adolf Eichmann, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Franz Stangl – all of them being born in Upper Austria, where, as Gauleiter August Eigruber happily announced, the Mauthausen concentration camp was installed in 1938. Having one of the toughest camp conditions in the Reich, Mauthausen, its branch camp Gusen and their over 40 subcamps became the mass grave of at least 90.000 prisoners. In total, around 190.000 persons were imprisoned in the camp complex from 1938 until 1945, approximately 10.000 being female.

WHISC is the only comprehensive study center that focuses on the study of the fate of women – Jewish and non-Jewish – in the Holocaust in a multidisciplinary manner.  

The study of women and gender relations in the Holocaust represents a challenge for historiographical research, which until the last third of the 20th century accepted gender-hegemonic concepts as a given and presented the past as the "history of great men". The diverse roles that women played in history were thus excluded. The categories of "woman" and "man" were simultaneously essentialized and the binary gender order was accepted unquestioningly as a supposedly natural given.

The Women in the Holocaust conference would therefore like to address questions of the historicity of such gender orders and explore the role of women during National Socialism according to Gisela Bock as perpetrators, victims, followers, bystanders, members of the resistance and helpers. It confronts the question of how to fruitfully integrate the histories of occupation, antisemitism, and ethnic racism, as well as issues of competing victimhood in the various countries with a focus on a women-specific perspective. There also are scholarly challenges involved when one considers the intersectionality of race, class and gender as well as other categories of difference, and the impact, tensions, and traumas they have produced.

The Women in the Holocaust conference promotes scholarly discussion and debate on the various divides, connections, and intersections that can be found in Holocaust and Gender Studies about women during the National Socialist period.

The Women in the Holocaust conference aims to probe and challenge disciplinary boundaries to advance multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary inquiries into the subject of women in concentration camps and other repressive institutions.