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Rachel joined King’s College London in 2018 as a digital historian on the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) and is the National Coordinator of EHRI-UK. In 2022, she became the Historical Advisor for World Jewish Relief and is working on making 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 is a Course Tutor at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. She completed her BA, MA, and PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London under the supervision of the late Professor David Cesarani OBE. During her PhD, she lectured History at Royal Holloway, winning the College Postgraduate Teaching Prize (2016) for innovative teaching methods. She also held a lectureship at Kingston University in Business Information Systems and Quantitative Methods.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Immigration and refugee history
  • Second World War internment in the UK, including those 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
  • Digital research methods

Rachel has spoken and published widely on immigration history and Second World internment in the UK and the USA. She is particularly interested in experiences and memory of internment in the UK, USA, and those deported from the UK to Canada and Australia. Rachel is currently researching the memory and memorialisation of internment camps, early internment camps, and refugee trajectories.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Rachel has appeared on BBC TV, Radio and Sky News and has been interviewed for various television documentaries. To keep up to date with her media appearances, please visit her website at

She has written several articles for The Conversation that have been reprinted both in the UK and the USA, most notably in Newsweek and The Independent.

Selected Publications

British Internment and the Internment of Britons: Second World War Camps, History and Heritage, eds. Rachel Pistol and Gilly Carr (London: Bloomsbury, 2023)

‘From Truman to Trump: Presidents' Use and Abuse of the Incarceration of Japanese Americans’, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 51, 2 (2021), 385-403.

The Jews, the Holocaust, and the Public: The Legacies of David Cesarani, eds. Rachel Pistol and Larissa Allwork (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

‘“I can’t remember a more depressing time but I don’t blame anyone for that”: Remembering and commemorating the internment of enemy aliens in Britain during the Second World War’, Patterns of Prejudice, 53, 1 (2019), 37-48

Rachel Pistol, Internment during the Second World War: A Comparative Study of Great Britain and the USA (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)