News story

Queen Mary hosts play that brings the story of Holocaust witness to life

As part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Queen Mary University of London will host a virtuoso performance by the Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn in collaboration with the international charity Human Rights Watch and Georgetown University.

9 January 2020

Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn to perform Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski, at Queen Mary University of London

The original theatre production, Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski, explores the legacy of the late Jan Karski, a Polish World War II hero, Holocaust witness, and beloved Georgetown Professor. Starring Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln) it brings to life Karski’s the first-hand accounts of Nazi atrocities which he witnessed.

Pursuit of truth

The play examines the same questions which remain important today; about truth and disinformation, the importance of standing up for what you believe in, the vulnerability of minorities, the power of bearing witness to atrocities and the need to learn from history and past mistakes.

Karski twice infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and posing as a guard at the Izbica transit camp, where he witnessed Jews being herded on to trains bound for death camps. He urgently reported what he witnessed to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, to US President Franklin Roosevelt, and US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, all of whom failed to act.

Questions and answers

Following the play, there will be a short discussion and live Q&A with director Derek Goldman, actor David Strathairn, politician and human rights expert Baroness Arminka Helic, BBC journalist and Special Correspondent Razia Iqbal and Professor Penny Green, Head of Queen Mary’s School of Law and expert on genocide and state crime.

The production will take place at the People’s Palace at 19:30 on Monday 27 January to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day and the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.  

More information:

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Faculty Communications Manager (HSS)