Leeds Literary Festival

A Festival of Words and Ideas



We are delight to bring you some of our planned talks online to help you through these difficult times.

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MiliM is non-profit making and run entirely by volunteers, we are proud to be able to offer an exciting programme of webinars during the Covid-19 crisis.

To be able to do this, we do need help to replace event revenue we have lost this year.

Every penny helps, goes directly towards events and we are very grateful for your contribution.


Milim Spring 2019

Wendy Lower

The Ravine: A Family, A Photograph, A Holocaust Massacre Revealed

In 2009, the acclaimed author of Hitler’s Furies was shown a photograph just brought to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The documentation of the Holocaust is vast, but there are few known images of a Jewish family at the actual moment of murder, in this case by German officials and Ukrainian collaborators. A Ukrainian shooter’s rifle is inches from a woman’s head, obscured in a cloud of smoke. The woman is bending forward, holding the hand of a barefoot boy. And—only one of the shocking revelations of Wendy Lower’s ten-year investigation of this image—the shins of another child, slipping from the woman’s lap. 
     Wendy Lower’s detective work—in Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, and the United States—recovers astonishing layers of detail concerning the open-air massacres in Ukraine. Her search for the identities of the victims, of the killers—and, remarkably, of the photographer who openly took the picture, as a secret act of resistance—are dramatically uncovered. Finally, in the hands of this scholar, a single image unlocks a new understanding of the place of the family unit in the history and aftermath of Nazi genocide
Wendy Lower is the John K. Roth Professor of History and Director of the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College. Lower chairs the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and served as Acting Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM (2016-2018).  She is the author of Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (2005), The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia (2011); and co- editor (with Ray Brandon) of Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization (2008). Her book, Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (2013) was a finalist for the National Book Award and has been translated into 24 languages. Her latest book, The Ravine: A Family, A Photograph, A Holocaust Massacre Revealed, was published in February 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jonathan Kaufman

Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China

ourney with author Jonathan Kaufman as he tells the remarkable story of the Sassoon and the Kadoorie families who stood astride Chinese history, business, and politics for more than 175 years from the 19th century until today. Originally from Baghdad, these families profited from the Opium Wars; survived Japanese occupation; courted Chiang Kai-shek; and lost nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons–and their exceptional foresight, success, and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism

Jonathan Kaufman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has written and reported on China for thirty years for The Boston Globe, where he covered the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square; The Wall Street Journal, where he served as China bureau chief from 2002 to 2005; and Bloomberg News. He is the author of A Hole in the Heart of the World: Being Jewish in Eastern Europe and Broken Alliance: The Turbulent Times Between Blacks and Jews in America, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. He is director of the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston


To order the book click here

Anne Kershen

Jewish Tailors’ Trade Unions in Leeds

This talk will explore the rise, fall and rise again of Jewish Tailors’ Trade Unions in Leeds. It will look at the reasons behind the creation of the unions, at the success and failure of leadership and at the co-operation of the Leeds Jewish and non-Jewish clothing unions which led to the creation of the national United Garment Workers’ Trade Union in 1915. It will question whether the support for the Jewish unions resulted from the workers’ desire for protection from the employers or their belief in the ethos of organised labour and why the Leeds Jewish unions were more successful than their London counterparts.

Tony Zendle

Kosher Foxtrot

Core to the ‘Golden Age of Dance Bands’ in Britain during the last century were the bandleaders.
Many came from the East End of London or North Manchester……and they were Jewish! They were there at the beginning of the Golden Age, and there at its decline. They hobnobbed with royalty, were regulars on the BBC and sold millions of records. They were the popstars of their era.
They played at the finest restaurants and cafes in Britain, or with the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people at dance halls, works canteens, village halls around the land.
When it was all over many struggled to come to terms with the changes, but some adapted and one or two became even more famous.
Discover their story, and how, if at all, their Judaism showed in what they did.

Born in the small shtetl of Manchester, Tony has a background as an educator and communicator, and is a trivia maven collecting the arcane and obscure, especially if Jewish. In recent years he has become aware that a great deal of Jewish History is being forgotten or ignored.


Tony has been working hard to rescue it from oblivion.  To this end he has written a number of books, including “Kosher Foxtrot”, “Jews and the Sea” and  “The Definitive Guide to Jewish Miscellany and Trivia”, and regularly gives talks to large and small groups. He is a member of the Jewish Historical Society of England  and was called by the Jewish Chronicle “a mine of information”

Meriel Schindler

The Lost Café Schindler

When Meriel Schindler’s father Kurt died in 2017, she felt compelled to resolve her mixed feelings about him, and to solve the mysteries he had left behind.
Kurt Schindler was an impossible man. His daughter Meriel spent her adult life trying to keep him at bay. Kurt had made extravagant claims about their family history. Were they really related to Franz Kafka and Oscar Schindler, of Schindler’s List fame? Or Hitler’s Jewish doctor – Dr Bloch? Where exactly was Kurt on Kristallnacht, the night that Nazis beat his father half to death and ransacked the family home?
Starting with a tower of photos and papers found in Kurt’s isolated cottage, Meriel embarked on an epic journey of discovery that took her to Austria, Italy and the USA. She reconnected family members scattered by feuding and war. She pieced together a unique story taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business: the famous Café Schindler. Launched in 1922 as an antidote to the horrors of the First World War, this grand café became the whirling social centre of Innsbruck. And then the Nazis arrived…
Meticulously researched and highly moving, The Lost Café Schindler uses the story of the Café Schindler and the threads that spool out from it to weave together memoir, family history and the untold story of the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


To purchase  The Lost Café Schindler  click here


Private: sponsors

Milim acknowledges the support given by



Councillors Dan Cohen and Neil Buckley

Front Row Legal

Lisa & Les Baker

Mitchell Wealth Management

Phil & Marcia Goldstone


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