October 2021

Welcome to another month full of interesting, engaging and thought-provoking online events…

Most urgently, there is still time to register for Insiders/Outsiders: Antipodean Connections, an online conference on 1 & 2 October about the experience of the refugees in Australia featuring talks by leading experts in the field on the notorious HMT Dunera, the creative life of the Australian internment camps and the longer-term contribution of the former refugees/internees to Australian (and also British) cultural life. The opening keynote address will be by the eminent historian Jay Winter.

To book for Day One, click here, and for Day Two, click here.

Both these images were produced at Hay in 1940-1 by Dunera internee Emil Wittenberg (later Emil Witten), born in Vienna in 1910. An architect and stage designer, he died in Melbourne in 1966.








As a continuation of the series of internment-related talks held in September in partnership with Jewish Renaissance magazine, we are pleased to announce the following events:

On Thursday 7 October at 6pm, gallerist Jane England will talk about the larger-than-life figure of artist and impresario Jack Bilbo, who presided over cultural activities in Onchan internment camp on the Isle of Man, and went on to found the Modern Art Gallery, the only gallery to open in London during World War II, which showed the work of artists such as Picasso and Kurt Schwitters alongside that of lesser-known artists, many of them fellow émigrés. She will be joined by Bilbo’s grandson, Ben Woodeson, who is also an artist.

To book, click here.


And at 8pm on the same day, Jacquie Richardsonwill talk about her German-born art historian father Klaus Hinrichsen, chronicler of the rich cultural life of Hutchinson Camp, also located in Douglas on the Isle of Man. She will be joined by Simon Parkin, author of a forthcoming book, The Island of Extraordinary Captives, dedicated to Hinrichsen, and by Kathryn Hallam-Howard, who will read excerpts from Jacquie’s parents’ wartime correspondence.

To book, click here.

Top image: Jack Bilbo, Self-Portrait Collage
Bottom: Kurt Schwitters, Portrait of Klaus Hinrichsen, 1941


On Thursday 14 October at 6pm, Ines Newman and Rachel Dickson, co-authors (with Charmian Brinson} of Internment In Britain in 1940: Life and Art Behind The Wire (2020), will discuss the friendship formed in Huyton Camp, near Liverpool, between Ines’ grandfather, engineer Wilhelm Hollitscher and artist Hugo Dachinger, both born in Austria, and the remarkable story of Ines’ discovery both of Hollitscher’s internment diary and Dachinger’s portrait of him, painted in Huyton.

To book, click here.

Image: Hugo Dachinger, Portrait of Wilhelm Hollitscher, Ben Uri Collection



At 8pm on the same day, Norbert Meyn, in conversation with Eva Fox-Gál, daughter of émigré composer Hans Gál will discuss the rich musical life of the British internment camps, and perform some of the works created there, including excerpts from the satirical cabaret What a Life!, performed on the Isle of Man in 1940, for which her father wrote the music. They will be joined by Michael Holden, who works with Norbert on the Royal College of Music’s Music, Migration and Mobility project.

To book, click here.

Image: Hans Gál by Glada Peterle


Additional Events


On Tuesday 12 October at 2pm, as part of Platforma 6and in partnership with Insiders/Outsiders, Anna Nyburg, design historian and author of The Clothes on our Backs: How Refugees from Nazism Revolutionised the British Fashion Trade will discuss the contribution of refugees, primarily Jewish, to the British textile, fashion and design industries in the 1930s and beyond, with a particular focus on those who settled and worked in Yorkshire. She will be joined by Jill Winder, Associate Curator (Decorative Art and Artefacts) at Leeds University Library, who will introduce parts of their collection relating to displacement and conflict.

To book, click here.

Image: Bookcover (detail)


On Monday 25 October at 6pm, as part of our ongoing series of talks by members of the ‘Second Generation’, poet and founder of Exiled Writers |nk Jennifer Langer will be in conversation with fellow poet Aviva Dautchabout her brand new anthology of poems, The Search, which has just been published by Victorina Press, and her ongoing commitment to helping refugees writers now.

To book, click here.

Image: Bookcover (detail)


Spies, Lies and Secret Missions: The Unsung Jewish Heroes of World War Two

Starting in late October, Jewish Renaissance and Lyons Learning Project in association with Insiders/Outsiders are hosting a series of online events exploring the hugely significant and often surprising ways in which Jews – many of them former refugees from Nazism interned by the British in 1940 – contributed to the Allied war effort.

All the events will start at 8pm

On 28 October, in advance of a forthcoming publication, journalist, author and TV producer Peter Pomerantsev will provide a glimpse of the fascinating research he is conducting into British covert anti-Nazi propaganda, which involved many former refugees – among them, cabaret singer Agnes Bernelle, novelist Stephen Wendt and artist René Halkett.





On 4 November, Leah Garrett will talk about her inspiring new book, X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II, the incredible saga of the German-Jewish commandos who fought in Britain’s most secretive special-forces unit – but whose story has gone untold until now.

Image: X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II, Leah Garret, bookcover




On 11 November, Helen Fry will tell us about the 10,000 German and Austrian Jews who fought for Britain during World War Two, with a special focus on the ‘secret listeners’ who spied on German POWs.

Image: The Walls Have Ears, Helen Fry, bookcover (detail)






On 18 November, Charmian Brinson will talk about her fascinating and wide-ranging new book, Working for the War Effort: German-Speaking Refugees in British Propaganda during the Second World War

Image: bookcover (detail)






On 25 November, there will be a discussion about Operation Mincemeat, the subject of a thrilling book by Ben Macintyre, soon to appear as a film with Colin Firth. One of the brains behind this ingenious hoax that successfully disguised the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily was Jewish intelligence officer Ewen Montagu, a member of whose family will be present.

Image: The officers of HMS Seraph, the submarine selected for Operation Mincemeat, December 1943



On 2 December, there will be a screening (followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Yonatan Nir) of The Essential Link, a recent documentary about German-Jewish businessman, art collector and still too little-known wartime saviour Wilfrid Israel, who played a major part in making the Kindertransport a reality.

Image: The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel, directed by Yonatan Nir




On 9 December, there will be a screening of Katharine Meynell’s film Elizabeth, inspired by German-born designer Elizabeth Friedlander, innovative typographer and creator of ‘black’ wartime propaganda, followed by a Q&A with its director and with Julia Neuberger and Julia Weiner (tbc).

Image: Penguin Scores designed by Elizabeth Friedlander, 1949-1950 © Collection of Katharine Meynell



On 16 December, there will be a long overdue event to honour Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Based in Bordeaux, he defied the orders of Portuguese dictator Salazar to issue over 30,000 visas to refugees attempting to escape Nazi-occupied Europe – in historian Yehuda Bauer’s words, “perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.”

Image: Aristides and Angelina de Sousa Mendes with their first six children, 1917


For further details of all the above events, and to book, click here.


Other relevant events


Between 2 October and 13 November, the Danielle Arnaud Gallery in Kennington, London will play host to an exhibition of new work by second generation artist Sarah Dobai entitled The Donkey Field. Based in part on her father’s account of his experiences in Budapest in 1944, the film which gives the exhibition its name focuses on the insidious impact of discrimination, persecution, and displacement on a child. The exhibition also features several new photographic works, depicting places whose pastoral qualities become shadowed by their association with dark episodes in European history.

To coincide with the re-opening of its Second World War and Holocaust Galleries, the Imperial War Museum, London will also be screening The Donkey Field from 28 to 31 October.

Image: Sarah Dobai, The Donkey Field (still), 2021, single screen film work, duration: 20 mins


At 6pm on Wednesday 6 October, the opening night of the London Film Festival, there will be a screening at the BFI of Stefan and Franciszka Themersons’ long lost and now restituted 1931 anti-fascist masterpiece Europa, recently restored and available to new audiences eighty years after it was seized in Paris during the Second World War. The film was inspired and based on the prescient 1925 Anatol Stern poem Europa. For further details and to book, click here.

Image: Europa (1931) © Themerson Estate



In addition, between 4-17 October, GV Art London will host an exhibition of the work of Polish-born artist, theatre designer and film maker Franciszka Themerson, who escaped Nazi-occupied Paris, and settled in London in 1940. For further information, click here.

Image:  © Estate of Franciszka Themerson





Between 7 October and 26 November, there will be an exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London of work by the winners and shortlisted artists from The Wolf Suschitzky Photography Prize 2021, which pays tribute to the late Austrian-born emigré photographer Wolf Suschitzky. For further information, click here.

Image: Wolf Suschitzky © Gerard Malanga



On 13 October at 7.30pm, at the Phoenix Arts Club, London, there will be a one-off opportunity (initiated by the Hungarian Cultural Centre) to watch a recreation of the brilliantly satirical Londoni Pódium Cabaret, an immersive tribute to a uniquely Budapester brand of humour as presented in 1930s London by Jewish refugees from Hungary – among them, humorist George Mikes and composer Mátyás Seiber.

To book click here.




And finally, Monday 1 November will see an online event to celebrate the publication of an anthology called Age of Confidence: The New Jewish Culture Wave(booking details to follow). The book, which marks the twentieth anniversary of Jewish Renaissance magazine, contains an essay by Insiders/Outsiders founding Director Monica Bohm-Duchen on second generation visual artists in the UK.

Image: Bookcover (detail)