New podcast on 'fragility of freedom' marks Holocaust Memorial Day

19 Jan 2024
Two women in recording studio. One with dark hair and glasses faces camera. Blond woman with back to camera

The University of Winchester has released a podcast to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January).

Lecturer in Modern History Dr Emily Stiles and PhD student Lucy Dixon discuss the Holocaust and the theme of this year’s commemorations – The Fragility of Freedom.

Lucy’s research focuses on ordinary women in Nazi Germany and their level of complicity in the Holocaust.

During their discussion, the pair ask each other: ‘What does freedom mean to you?’

They also look at how freedom, and its fragility, features in their work, how freedom is threatened today and how we can learn from the Holocaust and other genocides to protect it.

“There is always an opportunity to from the Holocaust whether it’s a formal setting or through personal reading and research. In my opinion, you can learn ‘best’ from the Holocaust when you have the freedom to think about it from as many different angles as possible,” said Lucy.

Emily, the author of Holocaust Memory and National Museums in Britain, was recently appointed President-Elect of the British and Irish Association for Holocaust Studies.

She said that it was her aim to use her time in the role to widen public engagement in Holocaust Studies.

“There is some really specific and interesting research going on at the moment and we need to make it accessible to more of the public,” said Emily.

Two women in recording studio

Holocaust Memorial Day is on January 27, the anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and it remembers the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, other groups who were subject to Nazi persecution, as well as those murdered in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda but that landmark is likely to be overshadowed by the fallout from the conflict in Gaza.

Emily observed that war in Gaza had sparked a steep rise in antisemitism but suggested that the public had to separate the actions of the Israeli government from the wider Jewish community across the world.

To promote future understanding, Emily was in favour of a Jewish History Month, run along the lines of Black History Month.

“The only connection that many people have with Jews is through the Holocaust and that’s not healthy,” said Emily. “They are not just a persecuted people. Jews have a rich cultural history in which persecution is only one part albeit an enduring one.”

The podcast, edited and co-produced by third year Broadcast Journalism student Owen Noone, can be heard here 

Find out more about activities connected with Holocaust Studies at the University of Winchester at  

Pictured: Lucy Dixon (left) and Dr Emily Stiles recording the podcast for Holocaust Memorial Day.

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