The Other Side: Counter memorials - Germany’s post-WW2 culture of apology and atonement

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.
Talk

With all the current anniversaries and centenaries of the two World Wars the subject of Remembrance is hugely topical. And yet little is known here about Germany’s complex post-war process and its powerful culture of Counter memorials.

After the end of WW2 a collective silence descended over Germany and the horrors of the past were suppressed. Germany’s very specific situation rendered all traditional concepts of monuments and memorials irrelevant and inappropriate but in the 1980s certain artists resolved to create art forms that would confront Germans with their Nazi pasts and respond to questions of apology and atonement:

    • How does a nation of former persecutors mourn its victims?
    • How do you commemorate destruction?
    • How do you remember what you would rather forget?

The art forms emerging all over Germany are fascinating, challenging and highly original. Some change or disappear over time; some demand interactive responses. All aim to keep the memories alive in the minds of the observers rather than in the memorial itself.

Angela’s Anglo-German roots, artistic background and years of research into the historical context in which her German grandfather operated as a decorated General in the Wehrmacht, puts her in an ideal position to give insights into Germany’s on-going efforts to find artistic forms for the remembrance of the victims of one of history’s darkest periods.

As in all her talks, she asks ethical questions, challenges pre-conceptions and evokes empathy through understanding ‘the other side of more familiar narratives.

Here is a more detailed synopsis
Please listen to the talk soundbites below
Testimonials

“Thank you again for a most stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking lecture. Our students have been discussing it in class this week and I know you will have stimulated many of them to join the Berlin trip this summer. It was very pleasing to see so many younger pupils coming back for other events in our Holocaust week, obviously inspired by your engaging talk. Whilst the material was pitched at a sophisticated level, the delivery and slideshow made the whole audience feel involved, as did your obvious passion and personal engagement with the subject matter. I would be delighted if you would return next year.”
Head of History, Brighton College

 “The lecture was extraordinarily interesting. It is well known that ‘history is written by the victors’, so it was good to be reminded that the other side had losses and people to grieve too. It was particularly interesting to investigate the counter-memorials in Germany and the way people are doing their best to move past their history. Thank you for the great lecture and the opportunity for further discussion afterwards.”
Upper Sixth student, King William’s College

“A couple of years ago we went on a school trip to Berlin and visited some of their memorials to the second World War, however we did not fully understand them at the time. It was so interesting, therefore, to learn about the different types of memorials and counter-memorials, and in particular, to gain a greater appreciation for the memorials we had visited.”
Upper Sixth student, King William’s College

Read more testimonials here



TALKS

Angela is also available to lead subsequent seminars or discussion groups.

MY TALKS

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To discuss your requirements, fees and availability please contact Angela
Read my monthly blogs - relating to Criminal Justice, Germany’s and Britain’s differing cultures of World War 2 Remembrance, and art as a tool for change