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Rachel Pistol joined King’s College London in 2018 as a digital historian on the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) and is the Director of EHRI-UK. In 2022 she became the Historical Advisor for World Jewish Relief, formerly the Central British Fund and is working on new ways to make their extensive archive on refugees to Britain during the 1930s and 1940s more accessible. Rachel is also a Committee Member of the Research Centre for German & Austrian Exile Studies (EXILE).

Rachel completed her BA, MA, and PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London under the supervision of the late Professor David Cesarani OBE. Whilst studying for her doctorate she lectured in History at Royal Holloway, winning the College Postgraduate Teaching Prize in 2016 for her innovative teaching methods. She also held a lectureship at Kingston University in Business Information Systems and Quantitative Methods as well as a postdoctoral position at the University of Exeter.

Photo credit Andrzej Stawiński

Photo credit: Andrzej Stawiński


She has a wide range of research interests and areas of expertise that include:

  • Immigration and refugee history

  • Second World War internment in the UK

  • Internees deported from the UK to Canada and Australia

  • Second World War internment in the USA

  • Parallels between the history of the 1930s and 1940s and current events

  • Commemoration and the preservation of historical sites

  • Internment camp economies

  • The history of racism and discrimination

  • Information management and data analysis

  • Digital research methods

Rachel Pistol is a public speaker and author on immigration history and Second World internment in the UK and the USA. She is particularly interested in the individual experiences and the memory of internment. She is currently researching the memory and memorialisation of internment camps, refugee experiences in the UK, refugee trajectories, and digital approaches to immigration and internment history.

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