Fictionalising the Holocaust

Peter Filkins, Toby Haggith

Chair: James Libson

02/03/2020 7:00 pm
Kings Place, St Pancras Room

‘To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.’ But despite Theodor Adorno’s dictum, dramatising the Holocaust has become a trend, in both books and film. Should the Holocaust, the nadir of humanity, be fictionalised? When we do dramatise the suffering, how should we approach it, and should any topics be off limits? Toby Haggith, co-editor with Dr Joanna Newman of The Holocaust and the Moving Image, and Peter Filkins, the translator of H.G. Adler’s trio of Holocaust novels as well as his biographer, discuss, with James Libson.

In association with the Second Generation Network

Peter Filkins


Peter Filkins is the translator of H.G. Adler's trio of Holocaust novels, Panorama, The Journey, and The Wall, and the author of Adler's authorised biography, H.G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds. He teaches at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

Toby Haggith


Dr Toby Haggith is a historian who joined Imperial War Museum’s Film Department in 1988. He is now a Senior Curator in the Department of Second World War and Mid-20th Century Conflict.

James Libson


James Libson is a partner at Mishcon de Reya, solicitors, where he has been for 27 years.  He has acted in many high profile cases including for Deborah Lipstadt in her case against David Irving, Gina Miller in her challenge to the government over Article 50, and most recently on behalf of Margaret Hodge MP resisting her expulsion from the Labour Party.  He chaired World Jewish Relief from 2011-16 and currently chairs Prism, the Gift Fund.  He has an Honorary Ph.D. from the University of Law.

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In association with the Second Generation Network