Dr James Smith, CEO of the Aegis Trust and President of the National Holocaust Centre, has issued the following statement.
“We are devastated by the untimely loss of David Cesarani. He was one of the World’s most eminent and respected Holocaust historians. He was also a true friend. He leaves behind an incredible legacy – in books, in documentaries, in the insights he brought to so many students, and in his contribution to Britain’s remembrance of the Holocaust. May that legacy live on, continuing to inspire and change the World for the better.”
A Research Professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London, David Cesarani had long been noted both for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the Holocaust, and for his ability as a communicator, bringing that history to life for students and the general public alike.
Though an author of numerous books on the Holocaust and its legacy, he was not one to hide away in the archives. Cesarani regularly contributed to radio and TV documentaries on the Holocaust, and to public and media debate, bringing warmth, sensitivity and humility to a vast and painful subject.
In the late 90s, David Cesarani served with Aegis’ co-founder Dr Stephen Smith on the UK delegation to the Intergovernmental Taskforce for Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (now the IHRA). Their work helped shape the creation of the UK’s national Holocaust Memorial Day, established in 2001. More recently, he worked with Dr James Smith as part of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission, for which both were expert advisors.
For the field of Holocaust remembrance and education in the UK, Professor David Cesarani was irreplaceable. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and worked with him.