People Feature

Elissa Mailänder

Elissa Mailänder is an Associate Professor at Sciences Po Paris, where she works at the Center for History, and the Deputy Director at the Centre interdisciplinaire d'études et de recherches sur l'Allemagne (CIERA). She is a historian of gender and everyday life that specializes in the history of Nazism. In her monograph Female SS Guards and Workaday Violence: The Majdanek Concentration Camp, 1942–1944, Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 2015 (originally published in German in 2009) and other articles, Mailänder focuses on perpetrator history and the structures, mechanisms, and dynamics of violence in Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Her recently published book Amour, mariage, sexualité. Une histoire intime du nazisme, 1930-1950, Paris, Seuil, 2021 examines friendship, intimacy, and heterosexual relationships in Nazi Germany, highlighting the importance of mass participation and practices of everyday conformity to dictatorship. Her new collaborative project Trophy Photographs in WWII. An Interdisciplinary Transnational Debate explores performative transgressions of soldiers in private photography through the lens of gender, sexuality, and cultural self-assertion.



  • Amour, mariage, sexualité. Une histoire intime du nazisme (1930-1950), Paris: Seuil, 2021.
  • Gewalt im Dienstalltag. Die SS-Aufseherinnen des Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslagers Majdanek, Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2009 (English translation Female SS Guards and Workaday Violence: The Majdanek Concentration Camp, Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2015).


Edited volumes

  • Marcher au pas et trébucher. Les hommes allemands à l’épreuve des guerres (1914-1950), with Patrick Farges (ed.), Villeneuve d’Ascq: Éditions du Septentrion, 2022.
  • Geschlechterbeziehungen und »Volksgemeinschaft«, with Klaus Latzel and Franka Maubach (ed.), Göttingen, Wallstein, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus, 34, 2018.


Peer Reviewed Articles (selection)

  • “Von Geschichten, die wir nicht hören wollen. NS-Forschung jenseits von Binarität,” Göttingen, Wallstein, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus, vol. 37, 2022, pp. 79-106.
  • “Schreiben in alle Windrichtungen und warten auf Post.” Zur materiellen Hermeneutik von Briefen und Fotografien als Erinnerungsobjekt der RAD-Generation (1939-2022), L’HOMME. Europäische Zeitschrift für Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft/Revue européenne d’histoire féministe, 33 (2022) 1, pp. 83-106.
  • “Masters of Sex? Nazism, Bigamy, and a University Professor’s Fight with Society and the State (1930-1970),” Journal of the History of Ideas, 82 (2021) 1, p. 109-131.
  • Co-authored with Jennifer Evans, “Cross-dressing and the Violence of Male Intimacy in Third Reich Photography,” German History, 39 (2021) no. 1, p. 54–77.
  • “Everywhere the Same, yet Different," Journal of Genocide Research, 21 (2019) no. 2, p. 299-306.
  • “Whining and Winning: Male Narratives of Love, Marriage, and Divorce in the Shadow of the Third Reich,” Central European History, 51, 2018/3, p. 488-512.
  • “Des mémoires contradictoires. Histoire et récits d’une pendaison au camp de Majdanek, 1943,” Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’Histoire, numéro 139 (2018), p 153-163.
  • “Discussion Forum: Holocaust and the History of Gender and Sexuality,” with Doris Bergen, Patrick Farges, Atina Grossmann and Anna Hájková, German History, 36 (2018) 1, p 78-100.
  • “Making Sense of a Rape Photograph: Sexual Violence as Social Performance on the Eastern Front, 1939-1944,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 26, 2017/3, p. 489-520.
  • “Eigensinn et ‘usine de mort’: l’histoire du quotidien et l’univers concentrationnaire,” Sociétés contemporaines, Revue de sciences sociales pluridisciplinaire, 99 (2015) 3, pp. 81-104.
  • “Work, Violence and Cruelty: An Everyday Historical Perspective on Perpetrators in Nazi Concentration Camps,” L’Europe en formation, 357 (2010) 3, pp. 30-51.
  • “Discussion Forum: Everyday life in Nazi Germany,” with Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Gideon Reuveni, Paul Steege, Dennis Sweeney, German History 2009, 27 (2009) 4, pp. 560-579.
  • “‘Going East’: Colonial experiences and practices of violence of the female and male camp guards in Majdanek (1941-1944),” Journal of Genocide Research, 10 (2008) 4, pp. 559-578.