I am a Lecturer in Modern European History and a member of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Leicester.
I studied History, Political Science, Law and Eastern European Studies at the University of Hamburg, completing my PhD there in 2014. During my doctoral project I conducted research in archives in Israel, Poland, Germany and the United States and was awarded several grants and fellowships amongst other at the German Historical in Warsaw (GHI) and at the Institute for Jewish Research in New York (YIVO). Before coming to Leicester in 2016, I was working as a research associate at the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg (IGdJ) and taught German, Eastern European and Modern Jewish History at the Universities of Hamburg, Frankfurt Oder and Heidelberg.
My PhD and subsequent research focused on the history of the Holocaust with a strong interest in the Jewish experience in East Central Europe under German occupation. I am especially interested in everyday life in the ghettos, established by force by the Germans in WW II. In my doctoral project and the resulting first book, I examined concepts of criminality and law formulated by the Jewish Council in the ghettos of Warsaw, Lodz and Vilna. I argue that the dilemma of the Jewish Councils, set up by force by the Germans, condensed in the formation of an internal 'legal sphere' within these communities of coercion. My first book was published in September 2015 by Hamburger Edition ('Tanz auf Messers Schneide: Kriminalität und Recht in den Ghettos Warschau, Litzmannstadt und Wilna) and is forthcoming in English with Toronto University Press.
I am currently working on a new book project on the role of Eastern European and German immigrants in the nation-building process in Palestine/Israel (late 19th – mid 20th century), which breaks new ground by focusing on clothing and fashion as representations and practices of nation and state identity. The project 'Clothing, Fashion and Nation Building in the Land of Israel' has just been awarded a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship by the European Commission and will be hosted at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.