Memorial candle
Memorial candleThinkstock

British historian David Cesarani, who specialized in Jewish history and the Holocaust, has died aged 58, the head of his university said on Sunday.

Cesarani was known as a leader historian in his field for his work promoting the remembrance of the Holocaust, in which about six million Jews were killed by the Nazi regime of German leader Adolf Hitler.

Cesarani was a research professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a father of two.

"The death of David Cesarani is both a great shock and loss to all humanity," wrote Royal Holloway principal Paul Layzell on Twitter.

"The British Jewish community mourns the loss of Prof David Cesarani, a towering academic and historian," added Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, in another tweet.

"May his memory be for a blessing."

Cesarani wrote and edited over 15 books, including "Eichmann: His Life and Crimes" in 2004, a portrait of the Holocaust organizer later captured in Argentina and found guilty of war crimes in Israel.

The work was awarded the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for history.

He was also awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Holocaust education and his work advising Britain's interior ministry on establishing Holocaust Memorial Day.

Cesarani also contributed to many historical documentaries for television and radio for British national broadcaster the BBC and other stations.

AFP contributed to this report.