University staff and students have broad expertise and research interests in the study, education and representation of the Holocaust and annually mark Holocaust Memorial Day

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27 January 2023

University of Winchester staff and students have wide-ranging expertise and research interests around the important topic of the Holocaust. Research in History focusses on memory and representation of this traumatic period of modern history, while research in the Institute of Education and the Centre for Philosophy of Education concentrates on Holocaust education, young persons’ emotional engagement with the Holocaust and the role of women in Nazi Germany. Staff and students work closely with external organisations such as the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, as well as museums such as the Imperial War Museum. They have published extensively and developed teaching and museum resources.

Holocaust survivor Steven Frank was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University, has visited us and spoken to our students - the memorial tree he planted on our campus grounds several years ago is thriving. To find out more about Steven, see below.

Schools outreach

Our researchers also engage extensively with schools: to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023, Dr Alasdair Richardson and Cat Kirkland from the University’s Institute of Education, together with modern historian Dr Emily Stiles, will be leading assemblies with Years 7-11 at Westgate School in Winchester. Over the course of a week they will reach some 1200 pupils at that school alone.

Dr Richardson will also visit:

  • Farnborough Hill School, Farnborough – Y11 PSHE Day workshops (100 pupils)
  • Salesians College, Farnborough – Y9 Holocaust Memorial Day workshops (100 pupils)
  • Winchester College – Y9-11 Holocaust Memorial Day assembly (ca 300 pupils)
  • Mayhill Primary School – Y6 Holocaust Education workshop (70 pupils)

Public Engagement

To mark his year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, Dr Richardson, Dr Stiles and Cat Kirkland have teamed up with Senior Lecturer in Modern European History and Holocaust memory/representation expert Dr Emiliano Perra for a panel discussion around the HMD 2023 theme of Ordinary People. In a fascinating hour-long meeting of minds, they explored the concept of ordinariness in the context of total war, the ordinary vs the extraordinary, the role of iconic figures (both good and bad) in public perceptions of the Holocaust and in the curriculum, shifts in Holocaust Studies and Holocaust Education, perceptions of victims and perpetrators, and much more along the way. Watch the full video below.

Dr Richardson will be delivering a workshop as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s (HET) Glasgow Walking Tour & Teacher Study Seminar (find out more) and will be taking part in a panel discussion for the British & Irish Association for Holocaust Studies (BIAHS) on 20th February. He will also be working on the HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz projects, including at least one for University staff and students.

Postgraduate research

Lucy Dixon is a second year Philosophy of Education PhD student. Her research focusses on ordinary women in Nazi Germany, their level of complicity at the intersection of maternity, care and thinking. In her blog, Education research student Lucy Dixon explores the complex concept of ordinary from the perspective of the recent news story about the camp commandant secretary Irmgard Furchner who was convicted more than 70 years later for her role in the death of over 10,000 people in the concentration camp she worked in. 

Fellow Education research student Laura Watson’s research looks at what impact learning about this dark period has on young people, how it relates to the modern world and our attitudes towards it.

Andy Lawrence is a teacher in southwest London. His research is about how we can effectively teach about genocide and how young people make sense of their learning. He is studying for a professional doctorate in the Institute of Education.

Background image: Holocaust experts Dr Emiliano Perra, Dr Emily Stiles, Dr Alasdair Richardson and Cat Kirkland explored Holocaust education and representation and the HMD 2023 theme 'Ordinary people' during a recent panel discussion.

Find out more and meet our Holocaust experts