Search

Tribute to Jewish history academic David Cesarani: ‘A cross between Kafka and Eeyore’

PUBLISHED: 15:11 11 November 2015

David Cesarani who has died aged 58.  Picture: Nigel Sutton

David Cesarani who has died aged 58. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd London NW3 7QX Tel 020 7794 3008 e.mail n.sutton@btinternet.com

A leading historian who specialised in Jewish history and the Holocaust has been remembered fondly by his best friend as “a cross between Kafka and Eeyore”.

Professor David Cesarani OBE, of West Hampstead, died aged 58 last month following surgery to remove a cancerous tumour on his spine.

The academic was regarded as one of the leading Jewish historians, but was also a notable commentator on modern-day Jewish experiences.

His close friend Daniel Eilon, whom Prof Cesarani met while studying at the University of Cambridge, said in tribute: “David inspired all of us to be more curious, more thoughtful, more culturally aware, more interested, more questioning.

“He cared about so many things: not just about history, not just about the Holocaust, not just about Jews, and Israel – though of course all of these mattered enormously to him – but also music, films, literature, politics, justice, all the pleasures of life and its challenges.”

Born in London in 1956, Prof Cesarani pursued a career in academia after studying at both Cambridge and Oxford.

At the time of his death, he was professor of modern Jewish history at Southampton University and research professor of history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Among his achievements, Prof Cesarani’s research into Nazi criminals and collaborators in the 1980s helped bring into being the War Crimes Act 1991, which extended existing legislation to try British citizens for war crimes committed in countries other than Nazi Germany or Nazi-occupied territory.

Lawyer Mr Eilon, 57, of Finchley, added: “He inspired an enormous amount of affection. That is in spite of the fact that in his role as Woody Allen with anger management issues, the love-child of Kafka and Eeyore – as David Herman described him – he appropriated to himself all the outspoken privileges of a grumpy old man. Wisely it seems, he did this before he was ever old.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

18:07

The Labour Party’s national executive committee (NEC), including leader Jeremy Corbyn, have voted to ask Haringey Council to stop the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).

11:52

Police are appealing for information after a 15-year-old girl was raped in Crouch End in December.

09:40

A police manhunt is underway for a 21-year-old who failed to turn up to court on seven charges of robbery in Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End.

09:33

The future is bright for Hawley Primary School following the official opening of its new building.

Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch who played in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz will join other survivors at an event to commemorate this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day at JW3, the London Jewish Cultural Centre,in Hampstead.

Yesterday, 10:16

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

On Monday January 15, the BBC featured the enforcement of council tax in its Inside Out London programme.

January is well underway but it’s not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

PROMOTED CONTENT

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now