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Katharina Lenski

Gerda Henkel-Research Fellow (10/2023 – 03/2024)


"Asociality": Constructing "Underclasses" between 1933 and 1989


Katharina Lenski"Asociality" is rarely addressed in historiography, although it has been scandalised not only in Germany since the 19th century. Since the proclamation of the welfare state, anyone who did not conform to the common patterns of working and living was under general suspicion of being a "social parasite". The writing of history has constructional nature of "asociality", so that its functions have remained unclear. In the literature, the thesis can be found that "asociality" served to constitute an "underclass" and thereby and thus to define the "inner boundaries" of society. In this context the action samples of the institutions and individuals involved as a reconstructed as social practice. The project spans the period from the beginning of the Nazi regime to the end of the GDR dictatorship.


Katharina Lenski, historian, sociologist and education scientist at the University of Jena. Co-founder and Director of the Thuringian Archive for Contemporary History "Matthias Domaschk", later Fellow at the Imre-Kertész-Kolleg Jena as well as post-doctoral researcher and coordinator of the research training group "The GDR and the Dictatorships after 1945 in European Perspective".


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May 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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