Nazi Persecution: Britain's Gift

Dr Ralph Kohn presented this special lecture organised by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) in asociation with Friends. The lecture was introduced by the Rector Sir Roy Anderson.

Dr Kohn described the persecution of scientists in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and illustrated the unique and dedicated work of extraordinary British subjects who helped persecuted academics find a safe haven for their work and life in the UK.

Dr Kohn arrived in Britain as a very young refugee during World War II through Holland from Germany. He studied pharmacology at Manchester University and went on to work with two Nobel prize winners in Italy. It was in Rome that his love of singing flourished - learning under the renowed teacher Manlio Marcantoni who introduced him to the great Opera tenor Gigli.

In the 1960s and 1970s Ralph worked for numerous major pharmaceutical companies including Smith Kline French and Robapharm before setting up his own research company and winning the Queen's Export Award. In 1991 Dr Kohn set up the Kohn Foundation, which has supported many scientific, medical and artistic projects including the Royal Society's Science in Society Programme, the Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science.

Dr Kohn is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is an Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society.

As a leading baritone he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, The Queen Elizabeth and Albert Halls and St John's Smith Square, as well as producing 12 CDS.

CARA defends and supports academics that face political, ethnic, racial or religious persecution, helping them to rebuild their lives and careers in safety and ensure that their skills and knowledge are not lost to future generations.

Established in 1933 in response to the persecution of academics by fascist regimes, many of those assisted by CARA went on to win Nobel Prizes or become leaders in their field. CARA grantees of note include Sir Ludwig Guttman, Max Born, Sir Hans Krebs, Sir Ernst Chain, Sir Ernst Gombrich and Justice Albie Sachs.