About this event

  • Date and time Thu 19 May 2022 from 10:45am to 3:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Senior Fellows Forum

Professor Shirli Gilbert, Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London and Director of the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre, joins the Retired Fellows Society to deliver the lecture 'Music on the brink of destruction.

An extraordinary range of musical activities, both forced and voluntary, took place in the Nazi ghettos and camps, from the earliest internment centres established in 1933 until the liberation in 1945. The musical works created by prisoners there are extraordinary documents from the time, fragments recovered from the rubble of war and genocide.

In this talk, Professor Gilbert will present original songs from this period, including some rare post-war recordings. The songs offer rich insight into victims’ experiences, conveying the uncertain and shifting perspectives of prisoner communities as they made sense of lived reality.

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Key speakers

Professor Shirli Gilbert

Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College London and Director, the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre

Speaker's biography

Professor Shirli Gilbert is Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London and Director of the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre. She holds a DPhil in Modern History from the University of Oxford and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan. Before coming to UCL, she was Karten Professor of Modern History and Director of the Parkes Institute for Jewish/ non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton. She has written widely on the Holocaust and its legacies, modern Jewish identity, and Jews in South Africa, and her publications include Music in the Holocaust (2005; National Jewish Book Award finalist), From Things Lost: Forgotten Letters and the Legacy of the Holocaust (2017; British Association for Jewish Studies Book Prize special mention) and most recently, with Avril Alba, Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Chair: Dr Jeffrey Rosenberg, Committee Member, Retired Fellows Society, Royal Society of Medicine

Music on the brink of destruction

Professor Shirli Gilbert, Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College London and Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre


Close of meeting followed by lunch

For those who have pre-booked


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Special rates for difficult times  

The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this meeting will close 24 hours prior to the start time.

If UK government guidelines and restrictions change, the format of this event will be updated to comply, and all delegates will be notified via email.