The Second World War: The Other Side

The Second World War: The Other Side

Seen through the eyes of an ordinary German family

The Second World War is a subject that has an on-going and infinite fascination for so many and the current centenaries and anniversaries of the two World Wars place Germany and commemoration once again in the spotlight. With her Anglo-German roots Angela Findlay is a contemporary witness to the lingering impact of the war on German families and Germany’s fascinating post-war process of coming to terms with its dark past.

In this talk Angela uses the stories and wartime experiences of her Grandfather, a decorated German General who fought on the Russian Front, and his family to bring to life everyday occurrences in WWII Germany and to approach some of the practical and moral questions raised by life in Nazi Germany.

Through letters, diaries, photographs, interviews and military records she asks questions rather than gives answers and thereby transports her audiences to the period in a way that enables them to relate to it more personally and imagine it more vividly. Times have changed but moral dilemmas and the effects of both guilt and trauma are things that many people do, and many of us might, face at any point.

Angela also presents the hitherto little known yet fascinating and very significant role the arts play in Germany’s ongoing engagement with processing its past. Memorials, Counter memorials and artworks all over Germany make bold, brave, confrontational, humble and moving attempts to remember, apologise and atone for what so many would rather forget.

World War II and Nazi Germany are obviously huge and important subjects. Angela’s talk lies within the context of that period but explores questions that not only were relevant then but possibly even more relevant now.

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