Research Affiliate: Teresa Walch

Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Teresa Walch is a postdoctoral fellow at Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her BA in History and German at the College of St. Benedict, her MA in Modern European History at the University of San Diego and her Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of California San Diego in 2018, where the History faculty awarded her the “Dryden Hull/John Marino Best Dissertation Prize.” Her current book project, Degenerate Spaces: The Coordination of Space in Nazi Germany, investigates the links between ideology and space in Nazi Germany. Recent studies have shown how conceptions of Lebensraum (living space) propelled World War II and the Holocaust as German authorities endeavored to clear Central and Eastern Europe of its Jewish and Slavic communities and prepare the landscape for German settlers. Walch shifts the focus from German-occupied Europe to Germany in the 1930s to illuminate the spatial practices that preceded and undergirded wartime policies of spatial cleansing. Maintaining that “Blood and Soil” ideology constituted a dynamic organizing principle for life in Nazi Germany, she argues that Nazism itself should be understood as a spatial project that sought to make Germany judenrein (clean of Jews). Antisemitic notions of a “jewified Germany” immediately and forcefully inspired efforts from 1933 onward to cleanse German spaces of Jews and Jewish influences. Walch’s research has been supported by multiple institutions, including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Fulbright Program, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, and the German Historical Institute. Walch has presented on her work at conferences and workshops in the United States, Israel, Germany, England, and France. Her wider research interests include: modern Germany, Holocaust history, genocide studies, urban history, architecture, human geography, Jewish history, politics of memory, and transnational and global history.

Selected Recent Publications​

  • Conference Report: Co-authored with Sky Johnston. "Germans in the Pacific World from the Late Seventeenth to Twentieth Century." (German Historical Institute Bulletin No. 57, 2015): 123-128.​