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The Parkes Institute

Studying difference to make a difference

The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations is a unique centre of study across the ages. We are a community of scholars, archivists, librarians, students, and activists. The Institute is based on the life work of the Reverend Dr James Parkes (1896-1981), one of the most remarkable figures within twentieth century Christianity. Ordained by the Church of England in 1926, through his work with the International Student Service and the Student Christian Movement as early as the 1920s he campaigned against the rise of racist nationalism in Europe.

Public Statement

Together with all our colleagues in the British Association of Jewish Studies, the members of the Parkes Institute deeply mourn the death of our friend and colleague, the eminent historian Professor David Cesarani (1956-2015). David was Research Professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a leading figure behind the re-invigoration of Anglo-Jewish history in the 1990s. He played a seminal role in the development of Holocaust Studies in the UK from his time as Director of the Wiener Library and then as Director of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton. He has written and edited over 15 books including Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal, and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism, 1945-1948 (2009), Eichmann: His Life and Crimes (2004), Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind (1998),The ‘Jewish Chronicle’ and Anglo-Jewry 1841-1991 (1994) and Justice Delayed: How Britain Became a Refuge for Nazi War Criminals (1992). David has been involved with policy making and advocacy organisations since the mid-1980s when he was lead researcher for the All Party Parliamentary War Crimes Group which produced a report in 1987 on the entry of Nazi collaborators into the UK after 1945. He subsequently championed the 1992 War Crimes Act. David argued for the establishment of a Holocaust museum in the UK and served on the advisory board working with the team that created the acclaimed permanent exhibition on the Holocaust at the Imperial War Museum which opened in 2000. For several years he served on the UK delegation to the International Task Force for Holocaust Remembrance, Education and Research. In 2005 he was awarded the OBE for his work with the Home Office unit responsible for the establishment of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. David was a member of the Council of the Jewish Historical Society and an academic adviser to the Jewish Museum, London. He contributed to the making of numerous TV, radio and film documentaries as a researcher, historical consultant, interviewee, and most recently as an associate producer. David was very much a public face of Jewish Studies in the UK, and his dynamism will be sorely missed. May his memory be for a blessing.

Key facts

The University of Southampton is one of 24 members of the Russell Group - institutions which have distinguished themselves as research-led universities of international quality, and which are committed to the provision of teaching in a research-led environment.


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