June 2021

To coincide with this year’s Refugee Week (whose theme is “We Cannot Walk Alone”), we’re delighted to announce a new intensive programme of free online events on a wide array of topics relating both directly and indirectly to Insiders/Outsiders.


On Sunday 6 June at 6pm, to mark the publication by the Pushkin Press of the English translation of The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, David Herman lead a discussion with writer Eva Hoffman, the book’s translator Philip Boehm and publisher Adam Freudenheim about this powerful and prescient novel, its unusual publication history and the tragic story of its author. The book is currently in the Top 10 Sunday Times Bestsellers List.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.


On Monday 7 June, Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE was in conversation with art historian Julia Weiner and Professor Joachim Schloer of the University of Southampton, author of a new book about her redoubtable mother Alice (Liesel) Schwab, who came to the UK in 1937. She would become closely involved with both the AJR and the Ben Uri, and an avid art collector in her own right.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.


On Tuesday 8 June, at 8pm, Holocaust educator and researcher Mike Levy talked about the central but too often overlooked role played by the Quakers in the Kindertransport and by Bertha Bracey and her tireless efforts to save Jewish lives in particular. We were pleased to confirm that Quaker David Dobson was also present to talk about this important topic from a Quaker perspective.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: detail of Liverpool Street Station Kindertransport memorial


On Wednesday 9 June at 6pm, historian Sybil Oldfield was in conversation with writer and journalist Caroline Moorehead about The Black Book, her fascinating and disturbing publication about those blacklisted by the Nazis in anticipation of their invasion of the UK. By examining these targets of Nazi hatred, Oldfield not only sheds light on the Gestapo worldview but also movingly reveals a network of truly exemplary Britons: mavericks, moral visionaries and unsung heroes.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.


The above four events will be held in partnership with the AJR

On Thursday 10 June at 6pm, tribute was paid by Berlin-based artist Judith Raum and design historian Tanya Harrod to Otti Berger (1898-1944), the talented and successful Yugoslav-Jewish, Bauhaus-trained textile designer who fled Germany, tried unsuccessfully to make a new life for herself in England, returned to her country of origin and ultimately perished in Auschwitz.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: Portrait of Otti Berger (detail). Photo: Lucia Moholy, Dessau 1927–1928


On Sunday 13 June at 6pm, Amanda Hopkinson (daughter of Gerti Deutsch), Julia Crockatt (daughter of Alexander Goehr, and granddaughter of Walter and Laelia Goehr) and Leon Meyer, expert on photographer Erich Auerbach, talked about the close relationship between the émigré photographers and the music world. They were joined by Nobert Meyn, founder of Ensemble Émigré and the Music, Migration and Mobility project.
This event was held in partnership with Music, Migration and Mobility

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: Jacqueline du Pré by Laelia Goehr (detail)


On 14 June at 6pm, as part of our series of family-focussed events, Mary-Clare Adam talked about her father Leonhard Adam. Born in Berlin in 1891, his career as a judge and an expert on tribal law and culture was rudely curtailed by the Nazis. He arrived in the UK in 1938, but in 1940 was interned as an “enemy alien” and shipped to Australia on the notorious HMT Dunera. Released from Tatura Camp, he soon established himself as a major figure in the Australian legal and cultural world.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: Leonhard Adam, A performance of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata at Tatura Camp, Australia on 8 March 1942. Jewish Museum of Australia Collection


And at 8pm on the same day, poet Maia Elsner talked about her grandfather, Polish-born  artist Dante Elsner. Having survived the war by hiding in the forest after the rest of his family were murdered, he devoted the rest of his life to painting and studio pottery, in Paris (1948-58) and London (1958-1997), inspired by the teachings of Gurdjieff, aspects of Sufism and Zen Buddhism, and by Jewish mysticism.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: Dante in his studio in Kensal Rise, North London


On Tuesday 15 June at 8pm, Dr.Tessa Murdoch FSA considered the rich cultural contribution to this country of the Huguenots – the French Protestants who in the seventeenth century fled religious persecution in France and made England their home. The event was chaired by Robert Winder, author of Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britainand trustee of the Migration Museum, London.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: William Hogarth, Noon, 1738


On Wednesday 16 June, a ground-breaking one-day conference entitled A Jewish Jesus: Art and Faith in the Shadow of World War II examined and contextualised the surprisingly large number of  Jewish émigré artists who produced work for the Church and/or employed Christian iconography during the 1930s-50s.


Image: Hans Feibusch, Crucifixion, 1951, St John’s, Waterloo


On Thursday 17 June at 6pm, artist and writer Rachel Lichtenstein gave a talk about the Polish-born poet Avram Stencl, who settled in the UK. After narrowly escaping the Gestapo, Stencl arrived in London in 1936, and dedicated the rest of his life to the preservation of the Yiddish language. Although he became one of the most familiar figures of Jewish Whitechapel, he is now practically unknown. This event was chaired by writer and journalist David Herman, whose father Josef Herman was a close friend of Stencl.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Image: Josef Herman, Portrait of Avrom Stencl (detail), 1946, Ben Uri Collection


Looking Ahead

On Thursday 8 July at 6pmJohn McKean and Alice Grahame, the authors of a brand new book about Walter Segal (1907-85) will discuss the life and work of this influential German-born architect, who settled in the UK in 1936. And at 8pm on the same day, Dr. Imogen Wiltshire will give a talk about Walter’s Rumanian-born father Arthur Segal, (1892-1944) an eminent modernist painter, printmaker and teacher, who came to this country at the same time and established an important art school here.

To book, click here.


Enemy Aliens on the Isle of Man

In partnership with Jewish Renaissance magazine and the AJR, Insiders/Outsiders is offering what promises to be a fascinating four-day trip to the Isle of Man between 17 and 20 October. The trip, which will include lectures, guided tours and a concert, marks the eightieth anniversary of the British government’s internment of so-called ‘enemy aliens’ – most of them Jewish refugees from Nazism – and will coincide with the unveiling of an AJR blue plaque to commemorate this morally murky wartime episode.

Spaces are limited, so register your interest here.

Image: Ernst Eisenmeyer, Internment Camp (detail), Douglas, 1940


Lastly, please note that recordings of online talks on the thorny but fascinating topic of internment given in the last year or so are available on the Insiders/Outsiders YouTube channel. The full playlist, plus recordings of past events on other topics, including a recording of the recent University of Leicester symposium on Second Generation Visual Artists, can be accessed here.