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The Public Secret

Monday 23 January 2012, 5.30PM

Speaker(s): Professor Robert Eaglestone, Director of the Holocaust Research Centre, Royal Holloway College

Robert Eaglestone is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He is also Director of the Holocaust Research Centre. He is one of the UK’s leading academics studying the legacy of the Holocaust and the Second World War on literature, ethics, aesthetics and the philosophy of history.

The debate will explore the ‘Public Secret’ – the awareness among members of the public of atrocities carried out in the Holocaust and more recent genocides.

This will be followed by a reception to launch the Portraits for Posterity exhibition. 

The debate will follow an afternoon seminar which is open to members of the public and A level students.

Holocaust Memorial Day is an international event held in January every year to mark the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by the Soviet army and to remember the victims of the Holocaust. It is also an occasion to remember the victims of more recent genocides and to make a personal commitment to challenging all forms of prejudice and intolerance in our own communities.

Holocaust Memorial Day events are held across the UK and this year, the University will be hosting a national touring exhibition Portraits for Posterity in the Ron Cooke Hub Gallery and holding two public events in the week Monday 23 January to Monday 30 January.

Contact Zoe Norridge for details.

These events form part of the City of York’s event series for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Other lectures in this series:

Admission by free ticket only, available from

Location: Room RCH/037, the Ron Cooke Hub


Telephone: 01904 324466

Auschwitz: photo by Dan Maudsley:Flickr

Portraits for Posterity

Eva Clarke copyright Matt Writtle

Portraits for Posterity is a unique photographic exhibit drawn from survivors of the Holocaust living in Great Britain today. Very few survived the ghettos, extermination and labour camps of the Nazi regime. Those alive today are now elderly, but still bear witness to the crime of the twentieth century. The exhibition provides a permanent memorial that commemorates the millions who perished in the Holocaust without portraits.

The exhibition will be open to the public in the Ron Cooke Hub Gallery from Monday 23 January to Friday 3 February.