The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt



“Hájková’s history of Terezin is a tour de force. To understand Jewish victims’ experiences under the Nazis requires casting aside sentimental, redemptive narratives and analyzing what they did with the extremely limited resources they had. Thanks to Hájková’s astonishing research and courageous reappraisal of victim society, aspects of this history that have been overlooked or marginalized are now before our eyes. A major contribution to the history of the Holocaust, The Last Ghetto also opens up new perspectives on class, nationalism, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in twentieth-century Europe. The history Hájková has written is a deeply, wrenchingly human story that everyone ought to read.”

Alexandra Garbarini, author of Numbered Days: Diaries and the Holocaust.

The Last Ghetto is the most important book on Theresienstadt to appear in many years. With unparalleled knowledge of the sources and deep sensitivity, Anna Hájková has made a major contribution to the history of the Holocaust. With her focus on the everyday life of the ghetto’s inhabitants, she also provides us with a model of social, cultural, and gender history.”

Dan Stone, Professor of Modern History, Royal Holloway, University of London

“This splendid and devastating, gorgeously written, paradigm-shifting book offers one transformative revelation after another. Exemplifying radical empathy without sentimentality, it represents the very best the new Holocaust history has to offer.”

             Dagmar Herzog, Graduate Center, City University of New York, author of Unlearning Eugenics: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Disability in Post-Nazi Europe

“The ghetto at Theresienstadt has been shrouded in myths since the Nazis first presented it as a “model ghetto” to trick the world that Jewish prisoners were being treated humanely. Anna Hájková’s The Last Ghetto: An Everyday History of Theresienstadt is the first  – and long overdue – comprehensive study to reveal the interior life of the ghetto. In doing so, Hájková persuasively demonstrates that much like the society that produced it, Theresienstadt was riven by ethnic, gender, political, linguistic, and economic divisions that prevented a common sense of Jewishness from forming among the prisoners.”

Barry Trachtenberg, Michael H. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University