All posts by Martin Gilbert

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Travels with Martin, 2

Photo: Vera Brittain Étaples, France, November 2005 1.30 minute read/ 326 words Along with reading wall plaques and war memorials, Martin also believed in visiting war cemeteries in whatever region or country he found himself. One of the more powerful and overwhelming is that of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery

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Sir Martin & The Iraq Inquiry

This July marks ten years since then Prime Minister Gordon Brown set up the Iraq Inquiry, headed by Sir John Chilcot and included Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Roderic Lyne, Baroness Prashar, and Sir Martin. The commission, “appointed to consider the UK’s policy on Iraq from 2001 to 2009”, was given

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A “horrible episode” Oran, 3 July 1940

Photo: Roosevelt and Churchill, August 1941 As part of the Franco-German Armistice, France had agreed to transfer its warships to German control. Part of that fleet was at Oran, in French North Africa. When Lothian asked Roosevelt if he would support Britain’s “forcible seizure” of the ships, Roosevelt replied, “certainly.”



Photo: Sir Martin on the beach at Normandy, describing the invasion, May 2003. Photo © Bernie Pucker, with thanks to Liz Burgess. The Allied landing in 1944 might have ended in disaster. Winston Churchill thought he would be woken up to be told of massive casualties. General Eisenhower prepared a


Tragedy of the Slapton Sands rehearsal for D-Day landings

Photo: Sir Martin, describing the preparations for the Normandy Landings, May 2003. Photo © Bernie Pucker, with thanks to Liz Burgess. Patrick Kidd, in The Times on April 29, writes of the tragedy of the Slapton Sands rehearsal for the D-Day landings: Sir Martin, in D-Day, gives the background to

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Taking Gilbert Out of Context

Photo: Memorial to the Jews of Dzialoszyce murdered “by the German Genociders” Michael Brown, writing a piece in WND entitled “Why Russian Jews Dreaded Easter Weekend” has several inaccuracies that call out for clarification. His premise is that Jews in Russia were subjected to anti-Jewish violence that had been instigated

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Jewels from the Archive by Esther Gilbert

Photo: Martin with Elizabeth Nel, 2006, in London The Elizabeth Nel Correspondence The latest edition of Finest Hour, “The Journal of Winston Churchill and his Times” (Number 183) contains an article by Cita Stelzer entitled “Working with Winston: The Unsung Women Behind Britain’s Greatest Statesman”. Cita Stelzer writes about Churchill’s

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Israel’s Declaration of Independence

Photo: David Ben-Gurion declaring Israeli independence, with a photo of Theodor Herzl above him. Israel’s Declaration of Independence read out by David Ben  Gurion, Tel Aviv, 14 May 1948 The Jewish people came into being in Eretz Israel [the Land of Israel]. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was

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The Archive From Esther Gilbert

Photo: Some of the hundreds of box files of Sir Martin’s archive In March, Hillsdale College in Michigan announced they had acquired Sir Martin’s library and archive. As the above excerpt shows, Martin spoke with anyone who had known Churchill, worked with him, worked for him, even those who worked

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Judy’s Laundry Basket

Photo: Venetia Stanley, 1887-1948 1971, Martin, just back in Oxford from a visit to Gallipoli to research Churchill’s time there for Volume III of the biography, writes: Shortly after my return to Britain, with the image of the Dardanelles still vivid in my mind I received a visitor. She was

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The Israeli Elections 2019

On April 9, Israelis will go to the polls in what could be a momentous election. As this map shows,the numbers and needs of Arabs who are citizens of Israel, though a minority, must be taken into consideration in a democratic state. The Arab-Israeli Minority, as at 2010 Read: Arab-Israel

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Martin in Translation By Esther Gilbert

Photo: Martin speaking at the launch of his book The Holocaust, 2003, Skopje, Macedonia. Lubcho Lapé is to his right. In memory of the 75th anniversary of the German occupation of Hungary, the Hungarian periodical Szombat is publishing the “Hungary” chapter in The Righteous, Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust, which

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Churchill: Villain or Hero?

Photo: Leaders in the strike, including John Hopla who with Will John formed the Cambrian joint-strike committee. WalesOnLine. The recent mailbag included inquiries from two journalists who wrote to ask Martin to comment on a remark by the Shadow Chancellor. John McDonnell claimed that Churchill, while Home Secretary in 1910,

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BUDAPEST Chronology

Photo: BUDAPEST MAP From The Righteous 1941 June 27: Hungary enters the war on the side of Germany. August: Hungary agrees to German request for 20,000 Jewish forced labourers in German-occupied Russia. More than 15,000 are killed, 11,000 at Kamenets Podolsk on 23 August 1941. 1943 April 17: The Hungarian

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January 20th By Esther Gilbert

On January 20th, a burial took place at a Jewish cemetery in London that was attended by members of the government, clergy, and 1200 Jews of varying degrees of religiosity. Who was this individual whose death had brought together so many, and from such a wide spectrum of society? No


International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photo: Rabbi Nicky Liss, Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, at the gravesite. Courtesy HMDT Tens of thousands of events across the UK were supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, from speakers to exhibitions, from memorial programmes to projects, in schools, civic centres, churches and care homes. 


In Honour of Martin

January 21st marks the 4th anniversary of Martin’s death on the Hebrew calendar. It is also the Israeli holiday of Tu B’Shvat, or the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, the holiday of planting trees. It is the only Israeli holiday that is not biblical, historical or political,