Elisabeth Maxwell, Holocaust expert, widow of Robert, dies at 92

(JTA) — Elisabeth Maxwell, an expert on the Holocaust and the widow of the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell, has died at the age of 92.

Maxwell, who was not Jewish, devoted her adult life to Holocaust education and Jewish-Christian relations.

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The New York Times reported that she died Wednesday in Dordogne, France, quoting her daughter, Ghislaine.

Born in France in 1921, she was educated in law at the Sorbonne and then studied Modern Languages at Oxford, where she went on to do a Doctorate in Philosophy.

She was the editor of two books on the Holocaust and wrote her autobiography in 1994. She held many positions, including honorary Fellow of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, which promotes the study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

She was married to newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell for 46 years until his death in mysterious circumstances in 1991 after having apparently fallen overboard from his yacht.

Elisabeth Maxwell said that she discovered that over 300 of her husband’s relatives had died in the Holocaust when she was creating a family tree for the benefit of their children.

“When it was finished, I gave it to Yad Vashem,” she told the London Jewish Chronicle in 2005. “It was in the form of a concertina. I had put a golden Star of David by each of the names of those who were killed in the Holocaust. When it was unfolded, it was like a shower of stars.”

Maxwell’s family said in statement: “Her devoting the rest of her life to work on the Holocaust and to Judaeo-Christian dialogue arose out of her profound need as a Christian to comprehend how such an event as the Holocaust could have happened.”

She is survived by four daughters, three sons and 13 grandchildren.