Sir Martin's Newsletter & Bookclub August 2020
15 August 1945
Japan surrenders
The Second World War is over
Sir Martin's August Books
Second World War
The final destruction;
the final surrender

Atlas of the First World War:
August 1914, the Great War begins
For discount, enter DC 360
        at checkout. 
Sir Martin's Blog
“The momentous day”
an excerpt
700 words/3 ½ minute read
6 August 1945:
The scale and nature of the destruction of human life at Hiroshima was eventually to alter the whole nature of how mankind looked at wars, power, diplomacy and the relationships between states.  In the days when its reality was only slowly becoming apparent, it was the terrifying human aspects which each survivor could not shake out of his or her nightmares.  “Mother was completely bedridden,” a nine-year-old boy later recalled of the days following the bomb.  “The hair of her head had almost all fallen out, her chest was festering, and from the two-inch hole in her back a lot of maggots were crawling in and out.  The place was full of flies and mosquitoes and fleas, and an awfully bad smell hung over everything.  Everywhere I looked there were many people like this who couldn't move.  From the evening when we arrived mother's condition got worse and we seemed to see her weakening before our eyes.  Because all night long she was having trouble breathing, we did everything we could to relieve her.  (Continue Reading) 

Hiroshima; the scene near the centre of the atomic explosion of 6 August 1945

Read: Second World War
              From Esther Gilbert                                                        
The "Roots" Trips

This piece, presented by Martin's dear friend Sir Harry Solomon,
is taken from a talk he delivered at the
Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre on 26 June 2020. 
Sir Harry is a founder of the Centre and Chair of the Trustees.

 Sir Harry Solomon and Sir Martin

2500 words/13 minute read
I would like  to try to explain to you why I felt it was so important that we founded the SMGLC and why Martin Gilbert, apart from being a very great and dear friend and mentor, was also a wonderful writer and historian.  For me, his most important attribute was his commitment and dedication to ensure the accuracy of everything he wrote.  His detailed research into all his work was always thoroughly conducted from his work in archives throughout the world.  Through his use of eyewitness accounts, diaries, letters, memoirs and every other possible resource, Martin made sure that what he wrote was not only true, but fascinating for the reader.  He  was convinced that all of us today have so much to learn from history.  I was a great admirer of his and he was an inspiration to me. 
I feel the best way to explain the real Martin Gilbert, not just the prolific writer of history, is for me to take you on a trip down memory lane.  One day, in 1997, when Martin and I were having lunch, I told him that I wanted to visit the shtetl in Galicia – now a part of Ukraine – where my paternal grandparents had come from.  I wanted to discover my “Roots”.  He immediately said why don’t we go together – we can make a real trip of it!  I was delighted. 
(Continue Reading)

The Roots “Chaps”:  left to right Sir Harry Solomon, Michael Phillips, David Solomon, Dr Carl Herbert, Sir Martin, Bernard Pucker, photo courtesy of Bernard Pucker

Read: Second World War
Read Gilbert
Why Maps?  Why this Atlas?
From a 2008 talk Martin gave on his Atlases
590 words / 3 minute read
In my Who’s Who entry I give my hobby as “drawing maps”.  I have always been fascinated by the close links between geography and history.  This fascination began long before I learned to draw maps, when, almost sixty-eight years ago, in June 1940, I was sent, as a three-and-a-half-year-old evacuee, by sea from Liverpool to Quebec.  That fascination was confirmed four years later, in April 1944, when I was sent back to Britain, sailing from New York to Liverpool on the ocean liner Mauretania, then a troopship. (Continue Reading)

Trenches memorialised on the battlefield at Beaumont-Hamel where the Royal Newfoundland Regiment fought; the only regiment in the First World War to be given the designation Royal, in recognition of its wartime contribution.

Read: First World War Atlas
Sir Martin in the News
“The Jewish Story Explained” based on Sir Martin's book Letters to Auntie Fori, the Story of the Jewish People, the latest videos:
Read: Letters to Auntie Fori

The Jewish Press,, "Singing for Churchill's Soul" letter to the editor, by Cantor Joseph Malovany, posted 29 July 2020 about his time in South Africa in 1965:


"... I was to chant Kel Male Rachamim in memory of Sir Winston. I asked the chief rabbi, “How do I sing a Jewish memorial prayer for a non-Jew?” He dismissed my concern and said I should say 'et nishmat Sir Winston Churchill' when I got to the appropriate place.  I listened to him and as I said 'et nishmat Sir Winston Churchill,' a chill ran through my body and I raised my voice as loud as I could. I also emphasized the words wishing that his soul rest in Gan Eden.  I shall never forget that moment, a tribute to a great non-Jewish Zionist.

"Years later, my wife and I entertained Churchill’s biographer, the late Sir Martin Gilbert and his wife Lady Esther at our home for a Shabbat meal. You can imagine whom we discussed at length…."

Read: Churchill and the Jews

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Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre
“Anti-Semitism, Jews and the Left” a 6-week course beginning September 4, with Professor Shirli Gilbert
and Derek Spitz, a barrister who is involved with the
Equality and Human Right Commission's Inquiry in to Antisemitism in the Labour Party
For more information on upcoming events:
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