Holocaust Memorial Day looks back to the beginnings of Hitler's power

Zigi Shipper

A dramatic story of survival and reflections on Hitler’s 1933 appointment as Chancellor of Germany are on the programme for the University of Sussex’s Holocaust Memorial Day on 30 January 2013

The event, free and open to all, will take place at the Jubilee Building Lecture theatre, starting at 1.30pm. The afternoon, organised by the University’s Centre for German-Jewish Studies, will be introduced by the Mayor for Brighton and Hove Cllr Bill Randall and University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing.

The event coincides with the exact date eighty years ago when Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor. Oxford University’s Professor Peter Pulzer, who is the author of several books on German history and politics, including The Rise of Political Antisemitism in Germany and Austria (2004) and Jews and the German State (2003), asks how the appointment came about, how it was viewed at the time and whether its impact on Europe and particularly its Jews could have been foreseen more accurately than was the case. The discussion will be chaired by the University of Sussex’s head of the School of History, Art History and Philosophy, Professor Matthew Cragoe.

The afternoon will also feature a Holocaust survivor’s dramatic story of his teenage years. Polish–born Zigi Shipper and his grandparents were forced to leave their home and live in the Jewish ghetto in Llodz in 1940. When the ghetto was liquidated in 1944, 14-year-old Zigi was sent to Auschwitz, and then to a concentration camp near Danzig. With the Russians advancing, Zigi and other survivors were sent on a “death march”, finally arriving by barge at to the German naval town of Neustadt on the Baltic coast. They believed they would be taken to Denmark, but before this could happen British troops arrived and Zigi and his fellow captives were liberated. He was subsequently fortunate to be reunited with his mother, whom he hadn’t seen since he was five, and came to live in England.

Zigi describes himself as lucky to have survived and feels he owes it those who did not survive to keep talking about what happened. “Whole families were wiped out,” he says. “Who will tell their story?”

The event will end with the showing of Daisy Asquith’s film, ‘After the Holocaust’, which focuses on the lives of three Holocaust survivors in the decades since the end of the war.

 Notes for editors

The University of Sussex Holocaust Memorial Day is made possible by the generous support of the Association of Jewish Refugees.

The Centre for German-Jewish Studies, established in 1994, has developed into a major institution for the study of the history, culture and thought of Jews from Central Europe and for the training of a new generation of teachers and researchers in this field.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is commemorated internationally on January 27 each year. This date was chosen as it is the anniversary of the day in 1945 on which the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp – Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Each year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust urges everyone in the UK to pause and reflect on what can happen when racism, prejudice and exclusionary behaviour are left unchecked.



1.30pm: Welcome address

1.45 pm: Professor Peter Pulzer, University of Oxford. ‘30th January 1933’, Chaired by Professor Matthew Cragoe, Head of School of History, Art History and Philosophy.

3.00pm Tea, Jubilee building

3.30pm Zigi Shipper, Holocaust Survivor, will speak about his experiences. Chaired by Gideon Reuveni

4.30om Film: After the Holocaust

Followed by discussion with filmmaker Daisy Asquith.


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For further details please contact Diana Franklin on +44 020 8455 4785

; 01273 678 771 or email d.franklin@sussex.ac.uk

Press enquiries should be addressed to the University of Sussex Press office. Tel: 01273 678 888 or email press@sussex.ac.uk


By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 14 January 2013