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20 February 2020The Role of the Arts in Germany's Postwar Culture of Apology and Atonement
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The Role of the Arts in Germany's Postwar Culture of Apology and Atonement Angela Findlay Thursday 20 February 2020

With Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January, this is an appropriate time to look at the vital role played by the arts in expressing remembrance, loss, apology and atonement in postwar Germany.

In this country, very little is known about Germany’s unique post-WW2 process of remembrance and efforts undertaken to find art forms which honour victims of one of history’s darkest periods.

With all traditional forms of memorial deemed irrelevant and inappropriate. German artists were faced with questions of apology and atonement. But how do you express national guilt and shame rather than pride and patriotism? How do you remember what you would rather forget?

The “Counter Memorial” artists came up with art forms that are extraordinary, brave, and inspiring and aim to keep the memories and lessons of the past alive in the individual psyches of the people.

Angela Findlay is a professional artist, writer and freelance lecturer.She has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, a Diploma in Artistic Therapy (specialising in colour) and her paintings are widely exhibited both nationally and internationally.

With her Anglo-German roots and personal connections to the subject, Angela is ideally placed to give insights into this hugely interesting and topical subject that has led her to research Germany’s largely unknown post-WW2 process of remembrance. So completely different to the British one. 


Angela lectures regularly to TAS Societies - you may find her report on a lecture she gave to a North London Society helpful in understanding what to expect from this lecture : click here to read Angela's own words.

The image is of the Holocaust Memorial. This vast monument is situated near the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin. The site is a sloping field covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, or "stelae." Built in 2005, the memorial commemorates the six million Jews killed by the Nazis. It includes an underground information center that documents the fates of individuals and families.