Berlin and WWII: War and Memory with John Owen - Context Travel

Berlin and WWII: War and Memory with John Owen


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Walking around modern Berlin, we see memorials to the crimes perpetrated by Germans during the Second World War in many prominent parts of the city center. This conversation will look at the historical background of these memorials and the long processes which led to their creation.

It will then move on to look at what is not memorialized and how Berliners in both East and West chose to 'forget' some of the physical structures which characterized the city during the Nazi period while attempting to leave their ideological stamps in their place. Finally, it will briefly consider some of the more recent developments in so-called 'memory politics' in Germany and ask what effects those will have on the Berlin of tomorrow.

Led by historian John Owen, this interactive seminar will approach war and memorialization whilst looking at the larger narrative of World War Two. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of this sensitive subject.

John studied History and German at the University of Oxford, eventually specializing in German-Jewish history and the history of the Third Reich. He has been coming to Berlin since he was a teenager and moved to the city permanently a couple of years ago. The tangibility of history, especially that of the twentieth century, never ceases to thrill him in Berlin.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.