In 2018 The History of Parliament Trust was awarded funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to commemorate the life and career of its founder Colonel Josiah C. Wedgwood. This former MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme offered determined support to Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe by speaking out against Hitler and appeasement and consistently pleading with Parliament to provide assistance to Jewish refugees from as early as 1933. As part of the History of Parliament Trust’s activities during this project, which were largely based in Wedgwood’s native Staffordshire, they produced an exhibition with the assistance of the UK Parliament Curator’s Office that has been touring since September 2018. It explores Wedgwood’s varied political campaigns and achievements, including Wedgwood’s assistance of Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe in the 1930s and early 1940s.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an event on Wednesday 23 October with presentations by Dr Paul Mulvey and Lesley Urbach. Their talks will focus on the tireless work Wedgwood carried out to raise awareness in Parliament about the worsening situation for the European Jewry, as well his personal provision of assistance to Jewish refugees from Nazi-controlled Europe from Hitler’s rise to power in the early 1930s to Wedgwood’s death in 1943.