Sir Martin's Newsletter & Bookclub May 2021
we learn from the past
Sir Martin's March Books
       Auschwitz and the Allies         
How the Allies responded to the news of Hitler's Final Solution

   Jerusalem Atlas   
The graphic history of the city
and her people
For ebook discount, enter DC 360
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Sir Martin's Blog
The Also-Rans
 Auschwitz and the Allie 

815 words/4 minute read
Following on from the successful escape from Auschwitz of Rudolf Vrba
and Alfred Wetzler in April 1944 …
On May 27 a further escape took place from Auschwitz itself.  The escapees were a young Polish Jew, Czeslaw Morodowicz, and a Slovak Jew, Arnost Rosin.
Czeslaw Morodowicz
Arnost Rosin
During the second week of June 1944 news was finally received in Geneva which was to transform Allied knowledge of Nazi brutality.  The source of this news was the information sent from Slovakia, consisting of two separate reports:  the detailed account by Vrba and Wetzler of the gassing procedure, and the news brought later by Mordowicz and Rosin, that the deportation of Hungarian Jews was actually in progress, and that they too were being gassed.  Continue Reading

Read More: Auschwitz and the Allies
Sir Martin talks about Auschwitz and the Allies

                     From Esther Gilbert                                                        
Combatting Hatreds
560 words/3 minute read
In his talks about “Righteous” individuals who helped their fellow human beings, Martin has spoken about Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who as a schoolboy in Salem, Germany in 1933 helped a Jewish “senior boy” who had been harassed and tortured by other boys acting on the anti-Semitism that pervaded Germany then.  The boy had been overpowered and had his hair cut off.  Prince Philip, who had come there from an English school, still had his cricket cap which he gave to the Jewish boy who wore it until his hair grew back.  It was an act of compassion and decency.
Among the tributes published after Prince Philip died last month was his speech at Yad Vashem in Israel in 1994  when he mentioned this incident.  He had been invited to Israel on the occasion of his late mother, Princess Alice of Greece, being honoured for being a “Righteous Among the Nations”.  Princess Alice had hidden a Jewish family, the Cohens, in her apartment in Athens in October 1943 for 14 months, saving them from deportation to Auschwitz.  Continue Reading

 Prince Philip planting a tree at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial,
in 1994 to honour his mother Princess Alice of Greece who saved a Jewish family.

Read More: The Righteous
Read Gilbert 
Jerusalem Day – May 10
In the 2,545 years between 587 BC and 1967 AD, Jerusalem was conquered more than twenty times, and, as part of many Empires, was ruled from many different, often distant, capital cities.  Only for the Jews (for more than 650 years), for the Crusaders (for 188 years), and for the State of Israel (since 1948) has Jerusalem served as a capital city. 
Continue Reading

23 June 1967
The scene outside the Al Aksa mosque, after the first Friday prayer meeting since 1948 at which Arabs from the Israeli side of the Armistice line could be present. 
The Jordanians had for 19 years refused to allow Israeli Arabs, as well as Israeli Jews,
entry into East Jerusalem.

Read more:  Jerusalem 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

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Read: Auntie Fori 
Sir Martin's Web Citings
Jerusalem Post,, “Celebrating 20 years of 'In Search of Peace,' diplomacy with Arab leaders,”
by Eve Glover, posted 1 April 2021:

“The script is based on material written by the late Sir Martin Gilbert, a Jewish British historian and author. Narrated by Michael Douglas, In Search of Peace documents the tumultuous history of Israel from when it was established as a Jewish state in 1948 through the Six Day War of 1967.”
Read more: Israel, A History

The Cable,, “Let the conference be now” by Eric Teniola, Lagos, Nigeria, posted 7 April 2021:
“In light of the present day events in this country, there is an urgent need to convey a National Conference, so that we can sit down and talk about the future of our country.  I remember a famous quote by Sir Winston Churchill's biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, who quoted the former British Prime Minister as saying 'jaw jaw is better than war war.' We must not allow this country to disintegrate on our heads.  There is need to talk.”
Read more: Churchill, A Life
Please share, connect, keep well

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

Seminar Courses:  

Refugees:  Then and Now
4 Friday mornings in May
With Professor Tony Kushner


Modern Jewish History:  A Deeper Look 
6 Wednesday evenings beginning in May
With Professor Shirli Gilbert


The Second World War on Film
4 Wednesday evenings beginning in June
With Dr Julia Ruth Wagner


Re-presenting the Holocaust
at the Imperial War Museum

11 May 2021, 7pm
With James Bulgin, Head of Content
at the new Holocaust Galleries at the IWM


The Kindertransport:  Contesting Memory
8 June 2021, 7pm
With Dr Jennifer Craig-Norton



For more information or to book:

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