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Auschwitz Medical Crimes on Trial: Władysław Dering vs. Leon Uris Trial

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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6:00pm - 6:30pm – Exhibition view
6.30pm - 8:00pm – Lecture by Dr Aleksandra Loewenau

Part of The Wiener Library's Science + Suffering event series.

In this talk, Dr Aleksandra Loewenau will explore how the Dering v. Uris libel trial drew the attention of the British public to wartime atrocities, by placing those proceedings within an international context of post-war court trials.

In 1962, Dr. Władysław Alexander Dering, a naturalized British citizen, former prisoner of Auschwitz and recipient of the Order of the British Empire, sued American novelist Leon Uris for libel. Dering claimed that the sentence: “Dr. Dehring performed seventeen thousand ‘experiments’ in surgery without anaesthetic”, which appeared in Uris’s Exodus published in 1958, was defamatory. The supposedly uncomplicated case turned out to be one of the most important court proceedings in post-war Britain. Dering won the case; however, the humiliating half penny compensation ruined his finances and reputation.

Uris wrote several other novels, including QB VII, which was based on the trial proceedings, and achieved worldwide fame and recognition as an author, and Dr Loewenau will also discuss how this case has been presented in historiography, film and media, and how this interpretation shaped our historical understanding about Dering's involvement in Nazi medical experiments.

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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