Thursday 19 September 18:00 - 20:30

Council Room
Imperial College London
170 Queen’s Gate

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Hay of Seaton Lecture: South African Jews, the Holocaust, Apartheid and Israel (London)


South Africa’s system of Apartheid (‘apartness’ in Afrikaans) was formalized in 1948, just three years after the end of the Holocaust. For South African Jews, the recent genocide served as powerful currency in the debate about how to relate to racist practices and ideas, both locally and further afield. In this talk, Shirli Gilbert will explore the diverse and sometimes unexpected ways in which the history of Jewish persecution shaped Jews’ attitudes both to apartheid and the newly-formed state of Israel, from the 1940s to today’s multiracial democracy.

Shirli Gilbert is Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London. She obtained her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan. Her publications include Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps (2005), From Things Lost: Forgotten Letters and the Legacy of the Holocaust (2017), and most recently, with Avril Alba, Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World (2019).

FREE/Booking is required. 

A drinks reception will precede the lecture at 5pm in the Council Room. 


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