17 March 2024

Arrival from 9.30am, event 10am - 6pm

IWM London

Taube Family Holocaust Learning Centre

£78 Standard | £70.20 IWM members

Tickets must be booked by 9am on Friday 15 March. Limited availability.

Explore the history of the Holocaust in this comprehensive module designed to explore the complexities, impact, and enduring significance of one of humanity's greatest atrocities.

In partnership with Queen Mary University of London, IWM Institute’s one-day masterclasses offer a behind-the-scenes opportunity to expand your knowledge of the most devastating event of the 20th century.

From the rise of Nazi ideology to the systematic persecution and extermination of millions, this masterclass navigates the socio-political factors, the human stories, and the lasting impact of this unparalleled act of brutality.

Part of the IWM Institute

The Institute is IWM's research and knowledge exchange hub. We provide access to IWM's rich collections for research and innovation to increase the public's understanding of war and conflict.

The Masterclass

IWM Masterclasses are suitable for anyone with a passion and enthusiasm for modern history, all you need to attend is a motivation to learn. IWM members enjoy a 10% discount.

The masterclass will consist of three lectures and a roundtable discussion, covering the Holocaust from the rise of Nazism to the end of the Second World War and beyond. 


Welcome and Refreshments: Free tea and coffee provided.

Persecution, James Taylor: Exploring the roots and foundational dimensions of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, we’ll identify the way in which Hitler’s ideology became the basis for an assault on Jewish identity and culture that grew with cruel intensity. Tracing how propaganda and discriminatory laws were used to restrict the freedoms of Jewish people, we’ll uncover how the evolution of these behaviours and attitudes ultimately set the stage for tragedy.  

Refreshment Break: Free tea and coffee provided.

Escalation to Annihilation, Dr James Bulgin: Examining the progression from persecution to centralised extermination, we’ll discover the factors that led to Nazi policy developing from marginalisation to state-sponsored murder. By exploring the practical and ideological factors that underpinned the genocide and the perspectives of those it targeted, we’ll gain an insight into the devastating acceleration of brutality, as well as the systems and processes which allowed for it and the warped rationale that underpinned it. 

Lunch Break and Object Viewing

The Spaces In-between, Dr Dan Lee: Exploring the experiences of Jewish youth in Vichy France from 1940 to 1944 and looking beyond the existing historical frameworks which focus on persecution, resistance and rescue. We’ll investigate the hitherto unexplained aspects of Jewish coexistence and cooperation, delving into how the Vichy government, that on the one hand passed discriminatory legislation against Jews, also encouraged them to play a part in the regime’s New Order, especially through scouting and Jewish return to the land projects in south west France. 

Refreshment Break: Free tea and coffee provided.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A: Holocaust on Film, Dr James Bulgin, Dr Toby Haggith and Kinga Bloch: Our panel of curators and scholars will discuss how the Holocaust has been portrayed on film over the years, exploring how artistic choices and ethical considerations must be accounted for when representing this dark period of history on screen. Bring your questions to our expert panel and learn about the role that film plays in in shaping our understanding of the Holocaust.  

Museum Visit: Take your time to walk through IWM’s award-winning Holocaust Gallery and immerse yourself in the personal stories of those affected by the events of the Holocaust. From a teddy bear taken on the Kindertransport, to the typewriter that played a role in sending thousands to their deaths, the galleries tell the story of the genocide from its origins to its devastating conclusion. See the collections from a new perspective following your learnings in the masterclass as you reflect on the impact of the Holocaust and the role of remembrance.

About the Speakers

IWM Institute masterclasses are run by scholars from Queen Mary University of London and curators from Imperial War Museums. Experts in their fields, the speakers will provide lectures and a chance to engage in conversation about their specialist subject.

James Taylor, Principal Curator of Public History at IWM, stands in front of a bookcase.
© James Taylor

James Taylor | Principal Curator of Public History at IWM

James Taylor began his career at IWM working in the museum’s library. He was part of the team which developed content for the Holocaust Exhibition that opened at IWM London in 2000, negotiating loans from museums and memorials in Germany and Austria, as well as acquiring objects for the collections of IWM from refugees and Holocaust survivors living in the UK.

James has worked with IWM learning teams to lead tours to sites of memory in Germany and Poland, including the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the former ghettos in Warsaw and Krakow, and the Nazi death camps at Chelmno, Belzec, Treblinka and Auschwitz. James acted as an internal consultant for the permanent Holocaust Galleries which opened at IWM London in 2021.

Dr James Bulgin, Head of Public History at IWM.
© Dr James Bulgin

Dr James Bulgin | Head of Public History at IWM 

In his previous role as Head of Content at IWM’s Holocaust Galleries, James oversaw the historical interpretation and creative approach for the Galleries and authored the IWM book The Holocaust. On behalf of IWM, he has acted as a consultant to a range of Holocaust organisations, and has spoken at conferences in the UK, USA, Germany, Bosnia, Poland and Israel. In 2022 James delivered the David Cesarani Memorial Lecture for Royal Holloway University of London’s Holocaust Research Centre.  

James regularly appears in the media discussing different aspects of Holocaust and 20th century history and has written on the subject for the Guardian and Radio Times. He was the presenter of the 2023 BBC documentary How the Holocaust Began and has also appeared in the BBC series Rise of the Nazis, for which he is a historical advisor, and the Channel 5 series Secrets of the Imperial War Museum.

Dr Daniel Lee, a Historian of the Second World War and Reader in Modern History at Queen Mary University of London
© Dr Daniel Lee

Dr Daniel Lee | Historian of the Second World War and Reader in Modern History at Queen Mary University of London 

A specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during the Holocaust, Daniel Lee is the author of Pétain's Jewish Children and The SS Officer's Armchair: In Search of a Hidden Life. Lee is currently Principal Investigator on two major research projects. The first, funded by the British Academy, is entitled ‘Traces of Jewish Memory in Contemporary Tunisia’, while the second, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and German Research Foundation explores ‘Jewish Pimps, Prostitutes and Campaigners in a Transnational German and British Context, 1875–1940’. Daniel is regularly on the radio as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. 

Kinga Bloch, the Deputy Director of the Leao Baeck Institute (LBI) London and a Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary University of London
© Kinga Bloch

Kinga Bloch | Deputy Director of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) London and a Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary University of London

In collaboration with the LBI Jerusalem, Kinga Bloch is currently part of the international leadership team for a project dedicated to the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies Berlin and its library. She has led projects including the digitisation of the LBI London pamphlet collection and an investigation of the library’s provenance, as well as contributing to the outreach project ‘Snapshots of German-Jewish History and Culture’.

Kinga is currently finishing her PhD on gender roles in TV series produced during the Cold War in East and West Germany and socialist Poland (UCL). Her publications include peer reviewed articles about the impact of television series on memory and societal discourse, as well as a range of reviews on recent works in television history.

Headshot of Dr Toby Haggith, Senior curator at IWM

Dr Toby Haggith | Senior Curator, Second World War and Mid 20th Century 

Dr Toby Haggith joined IWM’s Film Department in 1988. For ten years he was the programmer of the museum’s public cinema, conceiving and running the IWM Short Film Festival. In recent years, he has been closely involved with First World War film restoration, notably on The Battle of the Somme, The Battle of the Ancre  and Battle of Arras. Toby directed the restoration of the award-winning German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. He has a PhD in Social History from the University of Warwick and has published essays on film and history.  

The co-editor of Holocaust and the Moving Image: Film and Television Representations Since 1933, Toby is now working on a study of the use of film in war crimes trials and creating a script for the long-forgotten pacifist film, Peace on the Western Front

About the Venue

Holocaust exhibition with two visitors

The masterclass will take place in the Taube Family Holocaust Learning Centre at IWM London, where you will have special access to archives and collections not currently on public display. Following the lectures, you can take in IWM’s award-winning Holocaust Galleries. 

The galleries showcase one of the most significant collections of historic objects to tell the story of one of humanity's greatest atrocities. Including archive materials only made available since the end of the Cold War, they reflect the latest developments in Holocaust education, academia and our understanding of events.


IWM Institute masterclasses are brought to you in partnership with Queen Mary University of London.

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