" Angela's story is an astonishing one, not just for the personal history that she unravels in her exploration of her German family's past, but in the way that she translates this into a broader concern with Germany's national guilt and its efforts at reconciliation in the turbulent wake of WW2. She both resists and interrogates the cultural and historical stereotypes that constrain meaningful discussion about Europe's political make-up, and her personal perspective reminds us that a national consciousness is not a faceless one, but made up of ordinary families, sometimes living through extraordinary times. Angela is a truly gifted speaker, holding her 6th form audience for a full hour, and engaging us in an intellectual as well as emotional investigation of our relationships with our pasts. She is really masterful in her delivery, and her subject is vital if we are to look to education to guide us in what it truly means to be human. She is top of my list of speakers to invite back."
Director of Sixth Form, Headington School
The other side: The Second World War through the eyes of an ordinary German family
This talk can be adapted for societies, institutions and events.
The Second World War is a subject that continues to hold an on-going and infinite fascination. So many questions remain unanswered: How could Nazism and the Holocaust have happened? What did ordinary Germans know? What would I have done?
Through personal family stories, diary extracts, photographs and letters intermingled with historical facts, Angela brings the war to life from the perspectives of three generations: her grandfather, a decorated German General in the 1941-2 invasion of Russia and later a prisoner of war; her mother, a German child living near Berlin during Hitler’s dictatorship and having to flee from the approaching Soviet army; and herself, a third generation Anglo-German coming to terms with the inherited sense of guilt and shame still experienced by many young Germans even today.
She also reveals Germany’s post-war process and the country’s fascinating and moving efforts to come to terms with, apologise and atone for its horrendous past through art and memorials.
As in all her talks, Angela asks ethical questions, challenges pre-conceptions and evokes empathy through understanding ‘the other side’ of more familiar narratives.
The talk will:
- Give insights into the everyday lives, thoughts and choices of a German family during and after the war
- Ask questions that require the audience to reflect and re-consider accepted perspectives
- Present original photographs and personal accounts from the Eastern Front
- Introduce Germany’s debate on how to remember a past it would rather forget, and the role of art in their memorial culture
- Reveal how the burden of guilt gets passed on to contemporary German
Talks can be adapted to emphasise a particular interest or target a particular group.
Angela is also available to lead subsequent seminars or discussion groups.
“Angela has a lovely voice that makes you want to listen to whatever she says. Her talk on Prisons last year was amazing, I think this one on Germany was even better.”
Student, Prior Park College, Bath