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Hijacked from the Centre: Holocaust Memory in Britain

Saturday, Jun 11, 2022, 3:45 PM

David Feldman

Hijacked from the Centre: Holocaust Memory in Britain

Forty years ago, the British government led by Margaret Thatcher was indifferent when the Board of Deputies of British Jews proposed erecting a Holocaust memorial on the parliamentary estate. It had nothing to do with Britain, according to the foreign secretary, Lord Carrington. Today, by contrast, the Conservative government, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats are all committed to building a Holocaust memorial next to Parliament. Moreover, the Holocaust is the only compulsory subject in the history national curriculum for pupils aged 13 to 14. Feldman will explore and explain this transformation in the status of Holocaust memory: Why it is that at a time when anti-racism divides the public sphere in Britain, the struggle against antisemitism unites the political class as little else?

David Feldman is a professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. His current research and writing deals with relations between Jews and non-Jews in Britain in the 19th and 20th century and with changing conceptions of antisemitism. He has written on the politics of antisemitism for The Guardian, Financial Times and The Independent among others.

The event will be held in English