May 2, 2020, by ahzsa
Dr. Sascha Auerbach in The Independent
Dr. Sascha Auerbach, who is a Lecturer in Modern British and Colonial history, was recently interviewed and quoted at length in The Independent. His expertise in the history of colonialism and imperialism was sought by the editors to provide an historical perspective in the ongoing debates over the legacies of the British Empire. Asked to comment on a recent survey in which a third of the British respondents polled believed that the British Empire left its former colonies “better off” than they had been before, Dr. Auerbach responded:
“The results reflect very poorly indeed on the way we educate our citizens about Britain’s empire. We must take an honest approach to its history, and one that does not avoid discussing its darker legacies — slavery, exploitation, injustice, racism and violence, to name but a few.
At the same time, we must strive to understand why and how the Empire came about, and what lessons it holds for our present and our future.
We cannot erase the past, and we should not glorify it, but we do have to grapple with it if Britain is to continue to play a positive role on the world stage. True leaders, good leaders, be they individuals or nations, lead not through boasting and jingoism, but by the example they set for others.”