M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Leonie Bausch

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Hierarchies of Gender, Nation, and Race: Sexual Encounters in the French Zone of Occupation in Post-War Germany, 1945-1955

My thesis analyses how nationalist and racialised gender/sexual norms shaped perceptions and experiences of sexual relationships under occupation, focussing on the French Zone of Occupation in post-WW2 Germany. It highlights contemporaries’ concerns around national difference, sexual morality, violence, and race when it came to sex between the French occupiers and the German occupied population.

In short, what types of sexual relationships were (un)acceptable? Who was “allowed” to have sex with whom, and under what circumstances? What range of sexual relationships existed across the supposed occupier/occupied divide and how did invividuals experience these relationships?

Research Area

  • Economic and Social History
  • History


  • '"I am Playing Theatre, Out of Fear, Out of Self Defence": Perceptions  and Experiences of Sexual Relationships in the French Zone of Occupation in Germany', Besetzter Alltag/Vivre avec l'ennemi, 20 January 2023, EHESS Paris

  • 'Let's Talk About Sex: Narratives of Rape, Barter, and Romance in Allied-Occupied Germany', Contemporary History and Politics Seminar (CHaPS), 14 October 2022, University of Nottingham (hybrid)

  • 'Between Citizen and Foreigner: Gendered Boundaries and Stakes of Belonging in the Borderland, Alsace 1918-1919', Citizenship, Migration and Social Rights - Historical Experiences from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, 4-5 March 2021, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / re:work (online)
  • 'Nested Belonging and Gender: How to Claim Frenchness in 1918-1919 Alsace', Europäische Grenzregionen. Neue Wege im Umgang mit historischen Raum- und Grenzkonzeptionen in der Geschichtswissenschaft, 25-26 February 2021, Arbeitskreis Deutsch-Niederländische Geschichte / FID Benelux/Low Countries Studies / Universität zu Köln (online)

  • 'Contradicting Nationalities: Re-Thinking National Belonging in Post-WW1 Alsace', Adjusting the Focus: Scales, Spaces and Trajectories in European History, 14th Annual Graduate Conference in European History (GRACEH), 25-29 May 2020, European University Institute (online)

Public Engagement & Impact

  • Co-organiser of the Contemporary History and Politics Seminar (CHaPS), University of Nottingham (2022-present)

Other Research Interests

  • Gender & nationalism
  • Sexual/ised violence
  • Post-conflict societies
  • Borderland identities


  • Arbeitskreis Historische Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (2022-present)
  • German History Society (2021-present)
  • University and College Union (2021-present)
  • Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes / German Academic Scholarship Foundation (2019-2020)


  • University of Nottingham, UK - PhD in History (2021-present)
  • Central European University, Hungary - Master of Arts in European Women's and Gender History (MATILDA) - Thesis: 'Alsatian by sentiment': Gendered negotiations of multi-layered national belonging in Alsace, 1918-1919 (2018-2020)
  • University of Cambridge, UK - Bachelor of Arts (Honours), History - Dissertation: Traditionalism and feminism in the writings of National Socialist women, c.1932-c.1937 (2015-2018)

Professional & Research Experience

  • University of Nottingham, UK - Teaching Affiliate (January-February 2023)
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany - Invited Researcher at the DFG Graduate School 2571 Empires (January 2023)
  • European Commission, Belgium - Blue Book Trainee in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture - Press & Briefings (March-July 2021)
  • German Academic Scholarship Foundation, Germany - Member of the "Digital History" Academy (2019-2021)
  • German Historical Institute London, UK - Research Intern (July-August 2019)

Awards & Scholarships

  • German History Society Small Grant (2022)
  • AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Studentship (2021-present)
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Central European University (2020)
  • Studentship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (2019-2020)
  • CEU Master's Excellence Stipend, Central European University (2018-2020)
  • Ivo Forde Prize in History, St Catharine's College / University of Cambridge (2018)
  • Lady Katharine Barnardiston Scholarship, St Catharine's College / University of Cambridge (2018)