Lionel Kochan

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Lionel Edmond Kochan (20 August 1922 – 25 September 2005) was a British historian, journalist and publisher. He is best known for his work in Jewish history, having become an academic historian in his 30s and formerly specialising in European history.


Kochan was a doctoral student of Sir Charles Webster. Before moving into academia, he worked as a publisher and journalist.[1]


His first academic post was as a lecturer in European history at the University of Edinburgh from 1959 to 1964.[2] He then moved to the University of East Anglia, where he was Reader in European History from 1965 to 1969.[2] He was Bearsted Reader in Jewish History at University of Warwick from 1969 until his retirement in 1987.[2]

Kochan was born in London into a secular Jewish family. His scholarly writing became increasingly concerned with Jewish history. In the 1970s onwards, he became more involved in his Jewish heritage.[2] His wife Miriam Kochlan (c.1935-2023) was a writer and translator and she popularised the ceremony of batmitzvah for girls aged 12 in Oxford.[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • Acton on History (1954)
  • Russia and the Weimar Republic (1954)
  • Pogrom: 10 November 1938 (1957)
  • The Making of Modern Russia (1962)
  • The Struggle for Germany 1914–45 (1963)
  • Russia in Revolution 1890–1918 (1966)
  • The Jews in Soviet Russia since 1917 (1970) editor
  • The Russian Revolution (1970)
  • The Jewish Family Album: The Life of a People in Photographs (1974) editor with Miriam Kochan
  • The Jew and His History (1977)
  • The Scapegoats: the Exodus of the Remnants of Polish Jewry (1979) with Josef Banas
  • Jews, Idols and Messiahs: The Challenge from History (1990)
  • The Jewish Renaissance and Some of Its Discontents (1992)
  • Beyond the Graven Image: A Jewish View (1997)
  • The Making of Western Jewry, 1600–1819 (2004)


  1. ^ Pinto-Duschinsky, Michael (26 October 2005). "Lionel Kochan". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 14 June 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Joffe, Lawrence (1 November 2005). "Obituary: Lionel Kochan". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2018.

External links[edit]