About this day
For 11,12 and 13 students
World-class historians will present a diverse range of exciting and relevant talks to enthuse, inform and entertain, focusing on the period 1914 – 1945. Topics will range from the First World War and the Weimar Republic through to the Holocaust, Nazi Germany and World War Two. An examination session will provide guidance and insights to help boost students’ confidence and examination grades. Dr Robin Bunce, of Homerton College, Cambridge, will chair the day and run a dynamic and useful examination session for students. Tom Haward from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, will deliver a short interactive CPD workshop for teachers during the lunchtime break.
Programme & speakers
The origins of the Holocaust Nikolaus Wachsmann, Birkbeck College London
Drawing on recent research, Prof. Wachsmann outlines the road to the Holocaust, from pre-war Nazi anti-Semitic measures aimed at brutal discrimination and forced emigration to wartime plans for destructive mass deportations, culminating in the Nazi policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
About Nikolaus Wachsmann
Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann teaches modern European history at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of “KL. A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps” (2015).
Fake News, Old Elites and Hitler: Why the Weimar Republic collapsed Heather Jones, LSE
Heather will explore the reasons why the Weimar Republic collapsed in 1933. She will discuss how defeat and revolution polarised the German population in the aftermath of the First World War and how policy led to hyperinflation and economic disaster. This created a lack of trust in the state. Never inevitable, the collapse of Weimar was striking in the modern processes involved which, interacting with issues specific to interwar Germany, brought about the bellicose and aggressively expansionist Nazi dictatorship and a Second World War.
About Heather Jones
Dr Heather Jones is now Associate Professor in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics. Her research interests include the First World War and Weimar Germany. She is the winner of one of LSE’s Major Review Teaching Prizes. She is a regular commentator in the media on matters relating to twentieth-century European history.
The Great Catastrophe: Germany in the First World War Alexander Watson, Goldsmiths, University of London
Germany faced a vicious struggle against a ‘world of enemies’ in 1914-18. The country’s population and material resources were mobilised on an unprecedented level to fight vastly superior opponents. Its leadership embraced expansionary war aims and extreme violence to win. For the German people, the conflict brought extraordinary hardships: invasion, ‘starvation blockade’, mass death and a deeply humiliating defeat. This lecture explores this traumatic ordeal, and explains how it shattered Germany’s society, radicalised politics, and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship, another world war and genocide.
About Alexander Watson
Alexander Watson is Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has written many books and papers on East – Central Europe and Britain during the First World War. His latest book, Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914-1918, won the Wolfson History Prize and the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History, and was the Sunday Times ‘History Book of the Year’ for 2014.
Interpretations of Hitler since 1945 Neil Gregor, University of Southampton
What role did Hitler play in the Nazi regime, and how have historians interpreted it since 1945? Why have biographical perspectives on Hitler changed over time, and what can this tell us about the changing legacies of the Nazi period? This lecture explores the different historians’ attempts to place Hitler in his historical context, and asks how changing interpretations reflect the post-war world’s evolving relationship to the dictatorship and its impact.
About Neil Gregor
Neil Gregor is Professor of Modern European History at Southampton University. His research interests range widely across 20th century German history, and have encompassed aspects of business, social and cultural history. He has published widely and is co-editor of German History, the journal of the German History Society.
‘Feel-Good Dictatorship’? Consent and coercion in Nazi Germany. Christopher Dillon, King's College London
Talk details to follow.
About Christopher Dillon
Dr Christopher Dillon is Lecturer in Modern European History at King’s College London. His research and teaching interests focus on modern German history, particularly the Weimer and Nazi periods.
British responses to the Holocaust Tom Haward, UCL Centre for Holocaust Education
Tom Haward, from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, will deliver a short, interactive workshop giving a flavour of a more expansive session for students on “British Responses to the Holocaust.” In this CPD session, teachers will work with a variety of archival sources that aid the construction of an understanding of how Britain and the Allies responded to the unfolding genocide in Germany. In 2016 UCL published the world’s largest ever survey of what students know and understand about the Holocaust: this session aims to both share some of that research, exposing the sorts of myths and misconceptions students have about the Holocaust, and model the use of archival sources in countering these.
About Tom Haward
Tom Haward teaches across the Centre’s professional development programmes, including the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme, the Centre’s CPD programme ‘Unpacking the Holocaust’ and twilight sessions for schools.