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The Holocaust and the British Empire: Detention, Displacement and the Legacies of Britain’s Colonial Camps

Throughout the twentieth century, Britain used its network of imperial holdings as sites of detention, not only for migrants and refugees, but for civilians and political insurgents. One of the largest cohorts to be interned across the Empire were European Jews. This research project seeks to uncover the neglected histories of these detention sites, by reconfiguring our understanding of the Holocaust beyond central Europe. From Southern Africa to the Eastern Mediterranean, the project will critically analyse the defining role the detention of Jews, both during and after the Holocaust, played in the transformation of contemporary responses to immigration. At the same time, interconnections with legacies of empire and decolonisation will also be explored, particularly the evolution of spaces of internment across different periods and contexts.

Contact: Eliana Hadjisavvas, Alfred Landecker Lecturer, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London.

Image credit: Saint Martin Jewish Cemetery, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius, 2019.

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