Newsletter & Book Club
September 2015

Sir Martin's Book Club
September's Book Club Anniversaries:

1 September 1939,
Hitler invades Poland beginning the Second World War

9 September 2015,
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving British monarch.

It is our pleasure to suggest Sir Martin's
Book Club Choice & Book Club Offer
 to honour these anniversaries:
The Book Club Choice

The Second World War:
A Complete History

“Inside Germany, those who had opposed the pre-war excesses of Nazism were equally critical of the attack on Poland. But the threat of imprisonment in a concentration camp was a powerful deterrent to public criticism.  Before the war, thousands of Germans had fled from tyranny. Once war began, escape became virtually impossible as Greater Germany's frontiers were sealed and mounting restrictions imposed on movement and communications.
... The outbreak of war saw no slackening in the arrest of opponents of the regime; on September 9, Gestapo records show that 630 Czech political prisoners were brought by train from Bohemia to the concentration camp of Dachau, just north of Munich. Few of them were to survive the harsh conditions of work and the brutal treatment."

“Perhaps the most powerful achievement of the book is to convey to the reader...
an overpowering sense of the absolute evil of Nazism.”

Max Hastings,
The Sunday Telegraph

The Book Club Offer

The Routledge Atlas
of British History

From the Celts in Britain in 50BC to the London Olympic Games venues, this atlas explores all aspects of British history, from early invasions and conquests to empire and territories, from industrial developments and unrest to immigrations
and citizenships granted.

In honour of Queen Elizabeth's long reign, September 9 gives us an opp
ortunity to realize and cherish the richness of British history and culture.
"... an advantage to have this mass of historical facts under the one cover, easy to find, easy to assimilate and with no irrelevances to distract the user."
Teachers' World

A must read for students studying all aspects of British History.

Enter code MGA95 at checkout to receive 20% off this title from Routledge
until September 30th.


Sir Martin on The Second World War
Sir Martin's Blog

More A Time For Mourning
First published in The Independent : 3 September 1989

In the midst of the current commemorations of the outbreak of the Second World War, I feel uneasy. Commemorations should be a cause of pride. Yet the outbreak of war in 1939 was in many ways shameful, marking as it did the failure of British and Western diplomacy over several years to do what might have been done to deter Hitler by all means possible.
At the same time, the very act of war was a shameful one – not a struggle between equals with a declaration of war, but a sudden German attack and the immediate use of the tactics of aerial bombardment and land terror against civilians to cow the Polish population into submission.
The Second World War ought never to have broken out. For six years the weakness of successive British governments had helped to convince Hitler that he could advance eastwards with impunity.

Read More
               From Esther Gilbert
            Read about Sir Martin's early years during
                               the Second World War.
In 1940, fearing German invasion, thousands of English children were evacuated inland from the coast, and many thousands to Canada and the United States.  Martin was three and a half when he went with an aunt and her three children to Canada.  During his nearly four years in Canada, he lived with a foster family.  Missing his own parents so much, he was given letters by his foster mother, ostensibly from his mother.  But Martin realized that his mother would not be sending him letters with Canadian stamps!

Because of his early, traumatic years, Martin was himself profoundly affected by the Second World War, always aware that had he been born in Europe rather than in Great Britain, his chances of survival would have been very few.  Having come through his own experience of fear and loss, he was able to get behind the statistics to present the human story hidden there.

Martin, second from left, middle row, landing in Canada. Photo and caption,
Montreal Gazette, 1940.


"Mothers were gay and children were thrilled as the perils of warring Europe faded into the background and an adventure in a new land opened before them. Bearing the first government evacuated children, the two gray painted liners presented a cross section of Britain's people from every level of society."
The Montreal Gazette, 1940.
Sir Martin's Blatt
Tribute from the Churchill Centre
Chartwell Bulletin: July 2015

"Newly Redesigned Website Provides Fitting Resource to the Life and Works of the Official Biographer of Sir Winston Churchill"
Read More
' On This Day '
Read what happened 'On This Day'; a feature of the website that highlights an historical event in September for each of Sir Martin's book collections.

* Churchill Biography * Churchill Collection * First World War *
The Second World War * Holocaust * Israel & Jewish History
20th Century * Historical Atlases *

Sir Martin's Web Citings

Denis Avey, Auschwitz Witness Obituary, The Telegraph, 28 August 2015: 

"The historian Martin Gilbert provided a foreword to his book ...."

Read More Citings

The Book Club Quiz
How many Commonwealth realms have Queen Elizabeth as their Head of State? 
Find The Answer
* Calling all Teachers and Professors *

Do you use Sir Martin's work in your classes and tutorials?  
Would you send your lessons plans so that other teachers, professors and students can benefit from your work? 
Lesson plans will be posted on Sir Martin's website,
with your work acknowledged.

Please send your lesson plans to:
Forward to a Friend

Become a Martin Gilbert Researcher
As you may know, Sir Martin went through a lot of bottles of ink in his work.  I am not sure if his pen was ever at rest!  We are now trying to compile a bibliography and filmography list of Sir Martin's work.  If you know of any newspaper and magazine articles he wrote, forewords and introductions, or any other writing, or films you have seen in which he played a part, could you email the bibliographic information (publication source, date of publication, page number if applicable) to me at
If you have the writing in digital format or could scan and email to me, that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.  Together we will work to continue Sir Martin's life's work and legacy to the next generations.

Sir Martin Gilbert Memorial
Save the date
A memorial evening to honour Sir Martin Gilbert
will be held in
central London on
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 7.15 - 9pm
More information to follow.


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