Tributes pour in after death of Tony Judt

By Jessica Elgot, August 12, 2010
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Tony Judt

Tony Judt

Tributes have been paid to the British historian Tony Judt who has died aged 62.

The academic and outspoken critic of Israel suffered from motor neurone disease, which left him paralysed from the neck down.

Rabbi David Goldberg, former Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish synagogue, said: "Tony was a charming man, he could seduce with words. We had many disagreements, but he had a brilliant mind. He had so much more to give."

Guardian and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote: "He was a formidable intellect and shrewd observer. His severe illness did not dim his warmth or generosity."

Born in the East End, Mr Judt was brought up in a Marxist and pro-Zionist household. He spent a year on a kibbutz and served in the Six-Day war as an IDF translator. Most of his adult life was spent in the US, where he was Professor of European Studies at New York University.

He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his 900-page opus Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945.

He was accused of being a "self-hating Jew" after calling for a one-state solution. In one the of his last interviews, he told the JC: "I don't hate Jewish nationalism any more than I hate Italian nationalism, but obviously Jewish nationalists hate me more than Italian nationalists do."

He is survived by his wife Jennifer Homans and their two sons Nicholas and Daniel.

The JC interview: Tony Judt

Interview: Tony Judt

Last updated: 4:44pm, August 18 2010