Newsletter & Book Club
February 2017
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The official biographer of Winston Churchill
and a leading historian on
the Twentieth Century

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“the tramp of armies”
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Winston Churchill, The Wilderness Years
©Martin Gilbert
I.B. Tauris
… in a fifteen minute broadcast to the United States on 8 August 1939, a broadcast spiced with irony, Churchill began:  “Holiday time, ladies and gentlemen!  Holiday time, my friends across the Atlantic!  Holiday time, when the summer calls the toilers of all countries for an all too brief spell from the offices and mills and stiff routine of daily life and bread-winning, and sends them to seek if not a rest at least change in new surroundings, to return refreshed and keep the myriad wheels of civilised society on the move.”
And how, Churchill went on, had the world spent its summer holidays twenty-five years before.  “Why, those were the very days”, he said, “when the German advance guards were breaking into Belgium and trampling down its people on their march towards Paris!”, hacking their way through a country “whose neutrality and independence they had sworn not merely to respect but to defend.”


Churchill making his first wartime broadcast, 1 October 1939.
   From Esther Gilbert
Peeling back the layers of History

Among the stories told at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance and research centre in Israel, is that of the Righteous, those non-Jewish individuals and organizations who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.  Beginning in 1962, trees were planted in honour of these rescuers, a veritable forest of remembrance on the Yad Vashem grounds.  Wandering among the trees with Martin one summer afternoon, he stopped and pointed to a slight indentation in the hillside.  “It is the remains of a Turkish trench, from the First World War.”  History, like geography, is layers built upon layers.  Land bears the scars as surely as our own lives.

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Sir Martin, walking in the Judaen hills near Jerusalem, 1998.
Sir Martin in the News

24 January 2017: International Business Times

"Sadiq Khan urges 'zero tolerance attitude towards hate crimes' following anti-Semitic attacks in London" by Lara Rebello

"... while meeting with genocide survivors at City Hall on 23 January.  ... At the event the mayor read an excerpt from Sir Martin Gilbert's book on Holocaust survivors - The Boys:  Triumph Over adversity - and met World War II Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich and Cambodian genocide survivor Sokal Din among others."

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