All posts by Martin Gilbert

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A Genealogical Query

Also in the June mailbag came this email from Janice Harris in New Zealand, who found her great-uncle listed in one of Sir Martin’s Indexes on the website: “I’m researching my genealogy, and my great uncle, Samuel Howes, was chauffeur to Sir Winston Churchill during the Wilderness Years.  I found

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When Churchill Went to War with America

On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, Winston Churchill was Minister of Munitions. As Big Ben struck 11, and the guns fell silent on the Western Front, he was looking out of his ministerial window over Northumberland Avenue. The broad street was deserted. Suddenly, as he wrote, he saw “the slight

East European Refugees

Read Gilbert, Putting the Present in Context

Refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and the concerns regarding them seem to have become a permanent fixture of our daily news.  Yet it is important to remember that a generation ago, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of borders to the West, people who had been struggling

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Ben-Gurion Declares Statehood

At five o’clock on the afternoon of 14 May 1948, in the main hall of the Tel Aviv Museum, a ceremony took place that inaugurated the State of Israel. The ceremony began with the singing of the Jewish anthem “Hatikvah”. A few moments later David Ben-Gurion, as Prime Minister and

The Boys at 70 Anniversary Reunion 2015

The ’45 Aid Society and “The Boys”

In the summer of 1945, the British government agreed to allow the Jewish organisation, the Central British Fund, to bring a thousand young orphaned survivors of the Holocaust to live in Britain. Only 732 children and teens could be found among those liberated in Theresienstadt and from camps in Germany.

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Israel’s 70

The Story of Israel From Theodor Herzl to the Dream for Peace The new edition of Sir Martin’s book, published in time to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day on May 14, has been held at an introductory price for our readers throughout the month of May. On checkout enter code: story  Buy Here Subscribe to

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Dr Martin Luther King

Sir Martin writes of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King,  4 April 1968 “… while standing on the balcony of his hotel, King was shot dead by a White assassin. Four years earlier he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve racial harmony and Black

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A Much-Loved Classic Reproduced

In honour of Israel’s birthday, Carlton Books has produced this exciting new and updated edition and is offering our newsletter readers a special discount of 30% direct from the Carlton website from 3rd to 30th April 2018. On checkout add the code: story BUY HERE Late last summer, Carlton Books got

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The Story of Israel

Photo: Theodor Herzl Just over 120 years ago, a Viennese Jewish journalist and visionary, Theodor Herzl, launched the modern Zionist movement at a meeting in Basle of Jews from all over the world. They called for a Jewish State in their ancestral land, Palestine, a land then ruled by the Turks.

Churchill & Balfour

Churchill Fellows Weekend, 24-25 March

Photo: Winston Churchill and A.J.Balfour, 1920, photo courtesy of the late Sybil, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley The keynote speaker at the Churchill Fellows Weekend will be His Excellency Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States who will be delivering the Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture on “Churchill

Poland's Pre-War Communities

Poland’s Opportunity By Esther Gilbert

In Sir Martin’s thirteen books that chronicle the fate of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War, Poland has its rightful place at the centre of Europe, the invasion of which by German forces ignited the war. The Polish government is currently examining its place in that history and what

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“Based on a true story”

Photo: Antonina Zabinsky with an unnamed badger, Yad Vashem photo Recently I saw the film The Zookeeper’s Wife. (OK, so I don’t get out much.) Though not an “unknown” or “forgotten” story (see Sir Martin’s The Righteous), still it is an important one and it presents a unique approach to

Stalingrad map

Stalingrad, February 1943 “Renewed hope”

Above Germany, British bombers, carrying out the Casablanca directive of Roosevelt and Churchill, attacked Berlin during the daylight hours of January 30 and Hamburg that same night. The raid on Berlin had been timed to coincide with radio broadcasts by both Goering and Goebbels declared: “A thousand years hence, every

Prisoners of Zion map

The Journey of Soviet Jews

It is now 50 years since Soviet Jews who wanted to emigrate were imprisoned, and 30 years since they were finally released from their imprisonment and allowed to leave. Prisoners of Zion map, 1968-1985 Routledge Atlas of Jewish History Click Here and scroll down to Sir Martin and Russian Jewry Subscribe

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Churchill’s “Vote of Confidence”

The film Darkest Hour depicts a scene in a London Tube Station.  In Sir Martin’s piece Churchill in 1940, High Points and Low Points, he describes a similar “vote of confidence”: … on the afternoon of 26 May 1940, at a meeting of the War Cabinet in Churchill’s room in the House of Commons,

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The history of Jerusalem in maps

With Jerusalem in the news, it seemed an opportunity to consult Sir Martin’s Routledge Historical Atlas of Jerusalem. These four map reflect the city’s history at key junctures: Pre-1947, 1948 – 1967, Since 1948, and in 2008. Routledge Historical Atlas of Jerusalem Subscribe to Sir Martin’s Newsletter & Book Club  Follow