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Sofie Lene Bak

Associate Professor

Member of NORFAS Steering Committee

Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark




Sofie Lene Bak is Associate Professor in Modern History at Copenhagen University. Her fields of expertise include the Holocaust, antisemitism, and racism studies, and she has written intensively on Danish national socialist movements. Bak received her PhD from Copenhagen University in 2003 with a dissertation on antisemitism in Denmark during 1930–1945 and published ground-breaking monographs on the Holocaust in Denmark, repatriation and restitution of Holocaust victims, and most recently on the legal fight against antisemitism and Nazism. From 2024 to 2028, Bak is PI on the groundbreaking research project Code and Conspiracy. Antisemitism in Denmark After 1945 funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.
She is former curator and Research Manager at the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen and by virtue of her theoretical and methodological interests in oral history and memory studies continuously dedicated to public history in developing TV documentaries, educational textbooks, and features. As a leading national expert, she has edited several anthologies on contemporary history, published articles in Danish, English and German on the Holocaust, antisemitism, Danish Jewish history, and occupation history at top ranking publishers including Routledge, De Gruyter and Berghahn. She is editor of the journal Fra Krig og Fred, published by the Danish Commission for Danish Military History and of Rambam: Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning, published by The Society for Danish Jewish History. Bak is member of the NORFAS steering committee.

Research interests

  • History of anti-Semitism and racism
  • Holocaust
  • Second World War  
  • Public history
  • Oral history

Featured publications

Bak, Sofie Lene. 2021. “Danish Historical Narratives of the Occupation—The Promises and Lies of April 9th.” In Marianne Stecher-Hansen, ed., Nordic War Stories. World War II as History, Fiction, Media, and Memory. New York and Oxford: Berghahn. 35-48.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2019. “Chronicles of a History Foretold: The Historiography of Danish Antisemitism.” In Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß, eds., Antisemitism in the North: History and State of Research. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter. 127-138.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2017. “Morality and crime in Denmark during the Second World War.” In Tyge Krogh, Louise Nyholm Kallestrup and Claus Bundgård Christensen, eds., Cultural Histories of Crime in Denmark, 1500 to 2000. New York: Routledge.
Bak, Sofie Lene, ed. 2016. Oral History in Denmark. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2012. Da krigen var forbi: De danske jøders hjemkomst efter besættelsen. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2012. Nothing to speak of. Wartime experiences of the Danish Jews 1943-45. Copenhagen: The Danish Jewish Museum.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2004. Dansk Antisemitisme 1930-1945. Copenhagen: Aschehoug.
Bak, Sofie Lene. 2001. Jødeaktionen oktober 1943. Forestillinger i offentlighed og forskning, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Forlag.