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Professor Rebecca Clifford

Professor (Transnational and European History)

Professor (Transnational and European History) in the Department of History+44 (0) 191 33 41059
Fellow of the Institute for Medical Humanities


Photo credit: Erika Tanith

I joined the department as Professor of European and Transnational History in 2021, having previously worked at Swansea University and Oxford University. My chief research interests are in Holocaust history, histories of childhood and oral history, although I teach a wide range of 20th-century social and cultural history. I am currently working on a research project on the nexus between child Holocaust survivors and the development of child psychoanalysis in the decades after the Second World War.

From 2015 to 2019, I led a research project, ‘Child Survivors and Holocaust Memory’, that was the first to look comprehensively at the post-war lives of child survivors of the Holocaust, tracing the experiences of 100 child survivors through the seven decades from 1945 to the present. Funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, the project’s key output was the 2020 book Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust (Yale University Press). Survivors was the winner of the 2022 Yad Vashem Book Prize and a 2021 Canadian Jewish Literary Award, a finalist for the Cundill History Prize, shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize, longlisted for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize, and received an honourable mention from the British Association for Jewish Studies Book Prize. It was named a History Book of the Year by both the Telegraph and the Canadian Globe and Mail, and has been translated into six different languages.

I previously worked on a major AHRC-funded collaborative oral history project, ‘Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories’, that brought fourteen historians together to explore activism in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. Our work culminated in the jointly-written book Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt (Oxford University Press, 2013). My first book, Commemorating the Holocaust: The Dilemmas of Remembrance in France and Italy (Oxford University Press, 2013), looked at the creation of official Holocaust commemorations in post-Cold War France and Italy.

Research Supervision

I welcome inquiries from potential research students in the areas of Holocaust Studies, histories of children, and oral history.

Professional Membership
  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Research interests

  • Twentieth-century Europe
  • Second World War
  • The Holocaust
  • Children and childhood
  • Oral history
  • Memory studies
  • Histories of psychology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis


Chapter in book

Journal Article


Supervision students