David Cesarani OBE, 1956-2015
It is with regret and deep sadness that we mark the unexpected death of Prof David Cesarani OBE following a short illness.
David was one of the leading scholars of the Holocaust of his generation and enjoyed an international reputation both for his academic and his media work.
He joined the Wiener Library as Director of Studies in October 1989, becoming our Director in 1991 following the retirement of Prof Walter Laqueur. Under his leadership the academic profile of the Library blossomed and became more tightly focused on the Holocaust than it had been under Laqueur. David left the Library briefly in October 1995 to take up the David Alliance Chair in Modern Jewish Studies at Manchester University, returning to us in the summer of 1996 when his Directorship was linked with the Parkes-Wiener Chair in 20th Century Jewish Studies at Southampton University. David finally left the Library in 2000.
His bond with our institution continued, however, and he was a regular visitor to our events and particularly for teaching work as Research Professor of History at Royal Holloway.
His leadership left an indelible mark on the institution and everyone who worked with him as a colleague. He laid a great deal of the groundwork for later progress, particularly in securing grants and funding for essential work. His Directorship was a turning point for us, making us more professional and responsive in every aspect of our work.
David was gifted with a dazzling intellect, and he was unafraid of controversy whenever he felt fresh perspectives were needed. He had immense eloquence and a strong moral compass that was very rarely anything but perfectly true.
He will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Added: Monday 26th October, 2015