A female professor who came to England on the Kindertransport has bequeathed over £1.5 million to the University of Manchester.

Prof. Fanni Bogdanow, who died last year aged 86, fled Nazi Germany in 1939 – an only child with no surviving close relatives – and was taken in by a Quaker family in Manchester.

She first studied French but quickly grew a wide range of academic interests, later becoming one of the world’s foremost scholars in the study of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Her legacy will fund a series of lectures which will take place around Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January starting from next year, together with prizes for high performing students as well as a significant gift to the university.

“She was a remarkable scholar with a remarkable story,” said Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University.  “She was able to conquer extreme adversity to become one of the leading scholars in her field and a valued member of the University community.”

Dr Matthew Philpotts, who studied under Bogdanow, said: “She made no secret of her background and often mentioned it in class, but I don’t think any of us realised quite how remarkable her personal history was.

“Like all the best academics, she had a considerable presence and gave us a rare insight into the importance of her subject,” he said.

The University confirmed that there would be a “fitting tribute” to Bogdanow in the near future.