It is with great pleasure that we announce Ben Barkow is set to be presented with the honour of a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his unwavering dedication and significant contributions to Holocaust education and awareness.T his was among the last appointments made by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth before her death.
Ben’s commitment to ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten is deeply evident in his work. As a Trustee of the Holocaust Centre North, and notably its Chair during the challenging pandemic period, he was instrumental in amplifying the narratives of survivors who rebuilt their lives in the North of England. The Centre tells the story of the Holocaust through their eyes, ensuring that their voices continue to educate and resonate with audiences of all ages.
In addition, Ben Chairs the Academic Advisory Board of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, which is creating Britain’s national Holocaust memorial adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in London.
Prior to his role at the Holocaust Centre North, Ben spearheaded the Wiener Holocaust Library as its Director for [20 years]. The Wiener Holocaust Library, established in 1933, is amongst the world’s largest and most influential archives on the Nazi era. It has dedicated itself to capturing the evidence of the Holocaust and related events for future generations to study, understand, and commemorate. Under his leadership, the Library significantly broadened its reach and influence, leaving an enduring mark in the realm of Holocaust studies and awareness.
In addition to his other roles, Ben is currently a trustee of the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation, further underscoring his commitment to philanthropy and education.
Ben is also the author, editor and translator of a number of books about the Holocaust.
Alessandro Bucci, Director of Holocaust Centre North, remarked, “Ben has been pivotal in discovering innovative ways to engage audiences with Holocaust history, particularly at this crucial juncture. As we see the transition of the Holocaust from living memory to recorded history, it’s essential that we adapt our methods of remembrance. Ben’s commitment and vision have been invaluable in this endeavour.”
Since retiring, Ben has lived in West Cornwall, where he continues to champion the cause of Holocaust education. The ceremony took place at Trengwainton House, the home of the Lord Lieutenant.
The awarding of the CBE is a testament to Mr Barkow’s profound impact in this crucial field. His dedication serves as a beacon of hope and understanding for future generations.
Left: Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall.
Middle: Ben Barkow CBE.
Right: Cllr. Jordan Rowse, Deputy Chair of Cornwall Council.
Image: Phil Ward, Courtesy of Ben Barkow