24 January 2024
Join Jon Silverman and Robert Sherwood as they discuss their new book, Safe Haven: The United Kingdom's Investigations into Nazi Collaborators and the Failure of Justice, chaired by IWM's Head of Public History James Bulgin.
Jon and Robert will explore the history of the 1991 War Crimes Act and how and why it failed to deliver convictions to many of the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the intersection of law, history, and truth.
About the event
This is your chance to hear Jon Silverman and Robert Sherwood discuss their new book, Safe Haven, within IWM London’s exclusive Roof Terrace. You will have the chance to join the conversation with Robert and John as they explain how many of the perpetrators of one of the greatest atrocities ever committed were allowed to escape justice. The evening will conclude with a book signing and after-hours viewing of IWM’s Holocaust Galleries.
About the book
The controversial 1991 War Crimes Act gave new powers to courts to try non-British citizens resident in the UK for war crimes committed during WWII. But in spite of the extensive expense and legal work that followed, it led to just one conviction: that in 1999 of Anthony Sawoniuk.
Safe Haven considers why and how convictions failed to follow investigations. Within the broader context of war crimes investigations in the USA, Germany, and Australia, the authors reassess the legal and investigative processes and decisions that stymied inquiries, from the War Crimes Act itself to the restrictive criteria applied to it.
The authors argue that these led to many Nazi collaborators escaping justice in criminal court. They situate this history within the legacy of the Holocaust: how do the belated attempts to address a failure of justice sit with an ever-growing awareness of the Holocaust, represented by memorialization and education? In so doing, Safe Haven provokes a timely reconsideration of the relationship between law, history, and truth.
About the authors
Jon Silverman was a BBC news journalist for 26 years. He was a correspondent in Paris (1987--1989) and spent thirteen years (1989--2002) as Home Affairs Correspondent. In 1996, he was named Sony 'Radio Journalist of the Year' for his reports on the UK's Nazi war crimes inquiries for the Today Programme (BBC Radio 4).
He has been a research professor at the University of Bedfordshire since 2007 where he has focused on the media and justice in post-conflict states. He has written numerous journal articles, mainly relating to research work in West and East Africa and the involvement of the International Criminal Court.
Robert Sherwood was an operational Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector in the Metropolitan Police, retiring in 2003. Having obtained an Honours Degree in Law in 1993 he returned to university in 2011 to study an MA in Holocaust Studies with a distinction in his dissertation comparing the War Crimes Teams of the UK and US.
This ignited his interest in the subject of war crimes, leading him to undertake research for a doctorate in the UK War Crimes Team since 1945, receiving the doctorate in March 2020. He is now semi-retired, concentrating on academic pursuits.
About your ticket
As a charity, your IWM In Conversation ticket purchase helps IWM continue to tell stories for future generations.
Tickets cost just £15 per person (including IWM members) and include:
- Jon and Robert’s talk within the impressive surroundings of IWM London’s exclusive Roof Terrace
- A special Q&A with Jon and Robert
- Ask your own questions and join the conversation
- The talk culminates in a book signing for a personal meet and greet with Jon and Robert
- Then enjoy exclusive after-hours entry to IWM’s award-winning Holocaust Galleries
In addition to your ticket booking, if you can, please purchase your copy of the book from our IWM pop up shop on the evening. Every purchase you make supports the work we do.
What to expect
About your host
James Bulgin is Head of Public History at IWM and was previously Head of Content for the Holocaust Galleries. He has recently submitted his PhD on ideas of apocalypse in Holocaust and Cold War history. His academic research focuses on issues of representation in Holocaust literature and film.
About your venue
Join John Silverman and Robert Sherwood for an evening in unique surroundings.
The Roof Terrace is a spectacular event space, dramatically suspended from the barrel-vaulted glass roof of IWM London and as if hanging in mid-air. Designed by Foster + Partners, the Roof Terrace with its dramatic bridge and views of the galleries below also provides a spectacular view of the Dome, once the chapel belonging to Bedlam, designed by Sidney Smirke.
IWM, IWM London
About IWM London
Imperial War Museums is the world’s leading museum of war and conflict. Founded while the First World War was still raging, it gives voice to the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people forced to live their lives in a world torn apart by conflict.
The Grade II listed building that houses the museum is easy to get to.
Plan your journey: Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ (view map)