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Exhibition talk: Conspiracy and Antisemitism: combatting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion 100 years ago and why this remains significant today

July 7, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In Association with Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

A selection of some of the copies of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' held in the Library's collections.

A selection of some of the copies of ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ held in the Library’s collections.

Part of the Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today event series.

Antisemitism entered the political mainstream in Britain in 1920 when a national newspaper, the Morning Post, published 18 long articles loosely based on the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This newspaper series was the most prominent expression of a widespread tendency among conservatives at the time, who repurposed deep-rooted anti-Jewish stereotypes as they reacted to global crisis and the Bolshevik Revolution. The challenge of combatting antisemitism produced significant divisions among Jews who not only disagreed over what the causes of antisemitism were but also argued over whether education or, indeed, anything could help improve matters. In this lecture David Feldman explores the appeal of conspiracy theory in these postwar years and the responses of British Jews to the threat they faced. He asks how this history can illumine the challenges we face combatting antisemitism today.

About the speaker:

David Feldman is Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London. He joined Birkbeck in 1994 having previously held lectureships at Christ’s College, Cambridge and the University of Bristol. He specialises in the history of antisemitism, Jewish history, the history of migration in modern Britain and the history of racialization.

David provides expertise and advice on antisemitism to a wide range of political, philanthropic and cultural organisations. His writing on the politics of antisemitism has appeared in The GuardianFinancial TimesHaaretzHistory Workshop Online and The Independent.

Event guidelines for those joining online:

1. The Library will send you a Zoom link and joining instructions via email prior to the event. Please check your junk email folders.

2. Please try and join 5 minutes before the event start time and we will let you into the room (do try and bear with us if this takes a few minutes).

3. If you would like to ask a question during the event, please type your question into the chat function, and we will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A. Your webcam will not be seen during this event.

4. The event will be recorded for the Library’s YouTube channel and will be shared at a later date.

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July 7, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Wiener Holocaust Library
The Wiener Holocaust Library
London, WC1B 5DP United Kingdom
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