[From The Guardian]
David Cesarani, who has died aged 58 following surgery to remove a tumour on his spine, was the leading British-based historian of his generation of the modern experience of the Jews. He was also a notable commentator and broadcaster on the Jewish past and present, and took a prominent role in Holocaust education in Britain and abroad.
In the mid-1980s he led research by the All-Party Parliamentary War Crimes Group into Nazi criminals and collaborators who had come to live in Britain after the second world war. The result of this was an official report that evoked considerable public concern when published in 1987 and ultimately led to the creation of the 1991 War Crimes Act, which controversially extended British legal jurisdiction to cover war crimes committed elsewhere.
Lecturing on the history of the Holocaust to groups within and without the Anglo-Jewish community, which was a feature of his work in the 80s, led to his involvement in the British government delegation to the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education and to work with the Home Office unit responsible for establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain, which was first observed in 2001.
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