Sir Martin's Newsletter & Bookclub October 2021
25 October 1936
Our Future Historian
Sir Martin's October Books
In Search of Churchill

Martin's most autobiographical work

Second World War History    
From the battlegrounds through successes and defeats
to the final resting places

For ebook discount, enter DC 360
at checkout.

Sir Martin's Blog
Churchill the “Great Gentleman”
an excerpt from In Search of Churchill

500 words/ 2 ½ minute read

The list of Churchill's reform measures is impressive.  The Tory Democrat who became an active Liberal and then a Conservative again (at the age of fifty-six) could look with pride at the legislation he had put on the statute book.  There was, however, something beyond legislation that drew me deeper in my search from its earliest days.  Essentially, it was a deep well of kindness, an ability to encourage the young, and to enter sympathetically into other people's problems.  Desmond Flower, the young publisher who supervised the printing of The Second World War and A History of the English-speaking Peoples, wrote to me in 1976:  “With all the stories of how impossible he could be in every way at times, not only in the heat of war, how come that I always looked forward to our next meeting and always found him so gentle with me?  Particularly when we lunched alone together, which was hilarious.”

Churchill's generous nature was recalled by many of those who knew him well.  Two months after I took over from Randolph, I went to see Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis at his house at Winkfield, on the edge of Windsor Great Park.  As a former private soldier, this was a somewhat nerve-wracking prospect for me. 
Continue reading

Churchill and General Alexander on the Italian front, near Siena, 24 August 1944:
one of Alexander's favourite photographs from In Search of Churchill

                    From Esther Gilbert                                                
Is Holocaust Education the Antidote to Antisemitism?
1760 words/8 ½ minute read

Through the years, in thinking and teaching about the Holocaust, I have viewed it as a way to see what human beings are capable of in regard to other human beings, both the evil and the good.  Although an integral part of a wider war that also targetted other “undesirables”, the “Holocaust” was what happened specifically to Jews.  Because Jews, both those who survived and those who didn't, and historians – and the Germans themselves – recorded what happened, we have an amazing archive of documentation that is both intricate and far-reaching.  This Holocaust documentation can teach us a lot about how human beings react when under unimaginable stress.  But in taking the wider view of Jews as a symbol for humanity, we may have lost sight of who was targeted in the first place.  What was Nazi hatred all about and how does that fit with who Jews are – then and throughout history?  Is teaching about the Holocaust helpful in combatting Antisemitism? 

Jews in Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe didn't just wake up one morning on the wrong side of the “us and them” divide.  Continue Reading 


Hitler Youth at a Nazi Party convention rally in Nuremberg, c. 1934; Photo, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
Read more: Auntie Fori
Read Gilbert 
Esther's moving on … But not really
515 words/ 2 ½ minute read
Geography was so important to Martin.  It was not only the history of a particular moment in time that counted, but that moment was inextricably linked to the place where it happened.  This formed the basis for the events created by people, at that particular moment, in that particular place.  Does geography have the same impact in a world of cyberspace?  Continue Reading
The Canadian Rockies, February 2021, E Gilbert photo
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

Watch all the videos:

Click Here

Read: Auntie Fori 
Sir Martin's Web Citings
The Washington Times,, "Remembering an evening with Donald Rumsfeld and Churchill's biographer Martin Gilbert" by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr, posted 31 August 2021:
"I remember one fine night when he came to my house to dine.  With me, that evening was my dear friend Martin Gilbert, the authorized biographer of Winston Churchill.  I thought they would hit it off, and I was not disappointed.  Don and Martin, of course, had many mutual friends.  They also had many common interests.  Martin knew everything about Winston and pretty much everything about world politics."

Come Zoom with us!
Shirli Gilbert
Professor of Modern Jewish History, UCL
Academic Director of the Centre

1 October at 10:30 am - 12:00 pm 

Refugees: Then and Now

A short course exploring the chequered history of Britain's relationship with refugees,past and present.


14 October at 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century

Join the prizewinning Sephardic historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein as discusses her acclaimed book 'Family Papers', which uses the Levys' letters to tell not only their history, but the history of Sephardic Jews in the twentieth century. 

Get Tickets  

18 October at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Jews in South Africa

Jews have shaped the history of South Africa in bold and ambitious ways, and the country has in turn deeply challenged their ideas about what it means to be Jewish. In this 6-part course we will dive into the rich history of Jewish life in South Africa, including Jews’ engagement in wider South African society, their attitudes to racism, and their relationship with Israel. 

26 October at 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Ultra-orthodox Jews and Covid-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ultra-orthodox Jewish community attracted media attention for non-compliance with public health mandates, including masking and avoiding large gatherings. More recently, questions have arisen concerning ultra-orthodox Jewish hesitancy to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This talk will explore the experiences of Hasidic Jews in the New York area during the pandemic, based on in-person research conducted in the summer of 2021. 

17 November at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm 

The Ultra-Orthodox Jews of Israel 

Who are the ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel? In these four sessions, Dr Heather L Munro will take you on a journey of discovery into the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities of Israel. 

Get Tickets 

23 November at 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Churchill and the Jews: Questions and Controversies

Churchill’s relationship with the Jewish people helped to define his own remarkable life and career and his decisions dramatically impacted their fate. Join Lee Pollock of The International Churchill Society as he explores the complex nuances and fascinating story of Churchill and the Jews.

Get Tickets  

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