Posted on 27/01/2014
Professor David Cesarani OBE, a research professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London, has been appointed to a working group set up by David Cameron to find ways of ensuring the commemoration of the Holocaust and learning from it.
The Prime Minister launched the Holocaust Commission today (27 January) to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.
Members of the commission include actress Helena Bonham Carter, broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky and the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
Professor Cesarani said: “It's an honour to be invited to advise the government about ways to ensure that Britain has a permanent and fitting memorial to the Holocaust and the right educational framework to ensure its relevance for future generations.”
The Commission was first announced by the Prime Minister in September 2013 and will investigate whether further measures should be taken to ensure Britain has a permanent and fitting memorial to the Holocaust and educational resources for future generations.
“Britain already has a Holocaust memorial day, a permanent Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum and, here at Royal Holloway, a world-leading research centre. However, we all rely heavily on survivors to give immediacy to events that occurred over 80 years ago and we must consider what the Holocaust will seem like in 100 years time.”
Professor Cesarani, who is on the Council of the Jewish Historical Society and a consultant to the Holocaust Educational Trust, also commented on the need to ensure that teaching in schools reflects the archival research, especially in areas where research was previously impossible or on subjects that were overlooked.
Professor Cesarani added: “The UK has to set an example. It is ominous that in parts of Europe where there are concerted efforts to deny that the Holocaust took place there is also a resurgence of extreme nationalism, anti-semitism, and racism. Remembrance and education go hand in hand.”
Prime Minister David Cameron will be hosting a reception at Downing Street today to mark the launch of the Commission. He said: “We face a real danger that, as the events of the Holocaust become ever more distant, they feel increasingly remote to current and future generations. This cross-party, national Commission representing our whole society will investigate what more needs to be done to ensure Britain has a permanent and fitting memorial and the educational resources needed for generations to come.”