Welcome Nikolaus Hagen, Fortunoff/VWI Research Fellow 2019-2020

By Stephen Naron
October 3, 2019
Nikolaus Hagen chosen as Fortunoff/VWI Research Fellow 2019-2020

Please join us in congratulating Nikolaus Hagen as our next Fortunoff/VWI Research Fellow — an eight month fellowship beginning this month at VWI in Vienna.

Nikolaus Hagen is a historian and lecturer in the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Innsbruck and at the University College for Teacher Education Vorarlberg. He is also a 2019 EHRI Fellow at the Arolsen Archives. He was previously a research fellow and assistant curator at the Jewish Museum Munich.

Nikolaus’ research project is titled “The Nazi Persecution of ‘Mixed Marriages’: A Comparative Study on Gendered Experiences of Persecution.” Roughly 20,000 marriages in the ‘Third Reich’ were considered ‘mixed marriages’ as a consequence of the Nuremberg Laws, due to one of the spouses being declared ‘Jewish’. Although those deemed Jewish within such marriages were generally subject to the same persecution as other Jews, there was a precarious degree of ‘protection’, taking into consideration the non-Jewish spouses and families. However, the legal norms and the practical measures which these couples were subject to were manifold and complicated in nature and thus provided a degree of despotic arbitrariness. This brought about many individually and regionally differentiated experiences and consequences of persecution, including deportation and murder. These different experiences of persecution were gender-specific in nature – an aspect that has often been neglected. This project addresses such gendered experiences of persecution through a regional comparative study.

In addition to his current research project, Nikolaus will produce an annotated critical edition of a testimony from the collection.