Magdalen student organises Holocaust memorial event series

25 January 2023

Barnabas Balint (2019), a doctoral candidate in History at Magdalen College, has organised a series of events in Oxford to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and to reflect on the history, memory, and contemporary relevance of the Holocaust.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories’ aims to highlight the ordinary people who let genocide happen, the ordinary people who actively perpetrated genocide, and the ordinary people who were persecuted, and prompt us to consider how ordinary people, such as ourselves, can play a bigger part in challenging prejudice today. 

Magdalen College will host an event in the auditorium on Thursday 26th January at 5pm. ‘Survivor testimony’ will hear Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich MBE share her testimony of the Holocaust and her life in the UK after the war, followed by reflections from the UK Government Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Eric Pickles. President Dinah Rose KC will then lead a panel discussion. This event is free and open to all.

The following evening, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Magdalen will illuminate the Great Tower in purple light as part of Light the Darkness.

Holocaust Memorial brings people together to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the millions who suffered under Nazi persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories is dedicated to the late Barbara Winton who was a passionate campaigner for the history and memory of the Holocaust.

Barnabas’s research combines the history of childhood, gender and identity to explore Jewish youth responses to persecution in the interwar period and the Second World War. He is currently focusing on the experiences of Jewish youth during the Holocaust in Hungary under the supervision of Dr Zoe Waxman. Outside of academia, Barnabas has worked for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and has organised conferences, led ceremonies, written blog posts, conducted training sessions and spoken to UK national leaders including the Chief Rabbi, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and Prime Minister about the Holocaust.