"I think your lecture on Germany should be heard in every school in the land. "
Head of Lectures, Monkton Combe Senior School
"It was a privilege to hear Angela Findlay's talk about her family's relationship with, and attitudes towards, the Nazi regime in Germany. She managed to captivate a whole room of usually restless Sixth formers with her riveting, emotional and honest account of what it was like to live under the Nazis."
Head of History, Francis Holland School
"Angela has an extraordinary skill to keep a whole room hanging on her every word. Her talk managed to open up my mind to thoughts that have never occurred to me before."
Sixth Former, Chigwell School
The Second World War through the eyes of an ordinary German family
Ideal for Sixth Form, PSHE, Enrichment or General Studies. Also for History Departments or Societies, Holocaust Studies, Peace & Reconciliation programmes and as preparation for School Trips to Berlin and WW2 sites.
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?
With the impact of discrimination and division occupying much current debate, this talk demonstrates not only how both can lead to devastating results but how national atrocity from the past has to be confronted and learnt from in order to move forward in the present.
Through personal family stories, diary extracts, photographs and letters intermingled with historical facts, Angela brings Nazi Germany and the Second World 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.
The very public debate about the role of statues can be greatly enhanced by studying Germany’s little-known post-war process 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 students 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
Please listen to the talk soundbites below
“An extraordinarily good and poignant talk. Fascinating and beautifully illustrated with excellent photographs. I’ve long had an interest in WW2 but have rarely thought properly about what things were like for ordinary Germans…”
Housemaster, Winchester College
“Our students were mesmerised by Angela’s talk and particularly valued her insights into the impact the Second World War had on an ordinary German family. Her exploration of the impact of the war on Germany today was fascinating and raised some searching questions about a how a country can move forward constructively from a very dark period in its history. The students left the talk buzzing with ideas and questions – thank you Angela!”
Head of Sixth Form, Kingston Grammar School
“A wonderful talk! Angela has an uncanny knack of providing perspectives, which are counter-intuitive, forcing us all to reconsider our values and question traditional wisdom. A lecture asking for a re-think about German soldiers and their actions during WW2 does not seem destined to succeed but the way in which the entire Sixth Form sat so still underlines just what an impression she made.”
Head of Sixth Form, Royal Hospital School
“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.”
Sixth Former, Prior Park College
All talks can be given online or in person. The content and length of each can be adapted to suit a particular interest or occasion.
Angela is also available to lead seminars or discussion groups.