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In his final book, The Fate of the Jews, 1933–49, the British historian David Cesarani lamented the ‘yawning gulf’ between popular understanding of the Holocaust and academic scholarship. This public event provides an opportunity to evaluate the continued relevance of Cesarani’s critique, as new initiatives are launched (the Imperial War Museum’s new Holocaust Galleries opened to the public in October 2021) and others undergo continued refinement (development of UK secondary school teaching on the Holocaust by UCL’s Institute of Education; plans for a UK Holocaust Memorial alongside Parliament).
What is the value of academic involvement in processes of public education and commemoration? To what extent is such involvement a reality, particularly in the UK? What are the prospects for further growth in collaborative initiatives, and what are the obstacles? And how far does our expanded digital world impact this relationship?
The event will be moderated by Professor Shirli Gilbert (UCL, Academic Director of the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre) and Dr Andy Pearce (Institute of Education, UCL). Offered in collaboration with the British Association for Holocaust Studies.
Hannah Holtschneider teaches Jewish studies at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK, and held post-doctoral fellowships at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge, UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK). She is the author of three monographs: German Protestants Remember the Holocaust (Lit. Verlag, 2001), The Holocaust and Representations of Jews: History and identity in the museum (Routledge, 2011), and Jewish Orthodoxy in Scotland: Rabbi Salis Daiches and Religious Leadership (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019), and a range of articles on related topics.
Tony Kushner is Professor in the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton. He has written widely on the British Jewish experience, especially social history and comparative migration. He has written several books, including Journeys from the Abyss: The Holocaust and Forced Migration from the 1880s to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2017) and Southampton’s Migrant Past and Present (Parkes Institute, 2021). He is currently working on a study of a Jewish triple murderer and, with Dr Aimee Bunting, Co-Presents to the Holocaust. He is co-editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and deputy editor of Jewish Culture and History.
Alasdair Richardson is a Senior Fellow (Knowledge Exchange) at the University of Winchester. His research focuses on young people’s emotional engagement with the Holocaust, and he has published on this and other topics (most recently his book and exhibition ‘The Salesian Martyrs of Auschwitz’ tells the story of 22 Catholic priests sent to the camp from across Poland). Alasdair was a teacher and Deputy Headteacher for 18 years in Primary and Secondary schools and now works extensively in teacher education and professional development for serving teachers. He is a freelance educator for the Holocaust Educational Trust, a member of the HMDT Education Consultative Group, and he is currently working on a project funded by the Association for Jewish Refugees. His most recent publication explores Holocaust education as emotional labour.
Christine Schmidt is Deputy Director and Head of Research at The Wiener Holocaust Library, London, where she oversees academic programming and outreach. Her research has focused on the history of postwar tracing and documentation efforts, the concentration camp system in Nazi Germany, and comparative studies of collaboration and resistance in France and Hungary. She completed her PhD at Clark University, has been an adjunct lecturer at Gratz College in the US, and previously worked for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York. Her recent publications include “Those Left Behind: Early Search Efforts in Wartime and Postwar Britain,” in Tracing and Documentation Victims of Nazi Persecution (de Gruyter, 2020); “‘We are all Witnesses’: Eva Reichmann and the Wiener Holocaust Library’s eyewitness Accounts Collection” in Agency and the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Deborah Dwork (Palgrave, 2020); and “‘Privilege’ and Trauma: Sieg Maandag’s Climb Upwards,” forthcoming in American Imago in 2022.