German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


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Special Events 2017

Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture
Arnd Bauerkämper: National Security and Humanity. The Internment of Civilian “Enemy Aliens” During the First World War

28 November (6:30pm)

The Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the GHIL and the International History Department of the LSE and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Venue: German Historical Institute London

In the “total” First World War, civilian “enemy aliens” became targets of stringent state control and internment, frequently in the name of “national security”. On the other hand, national and international humanitarian organisations supported these helpless victims of the war. To what extent and how did debates and conflicts about the relationship between security and humanity impact on the changing balance?

Listen to this lecture (MP3 download, 54 min, 55 MB)
Watch the video of this lecture (this link will take you to the Gerda Henkel Stiftung website) 

Book Launch and Panel Discussion: "Die Hüter der Begriffe. Politische Sprachen des Konservativen in Großbritannien und der Bundesrepublik"

Thursday 9 November 2017 (7pm)

Martina Steber: Die Hüter der Begriffe

Venue: Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstraße 15, Munich

Was meint "konservativ"? Nicht erst heute treibt diese Frage Intellektuelle, Politiker und Parteien um. Als in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren in Großbritannien und der Bundesrepublik die Konservativen ihre sprachliche Deutungshoheit an die Linke verloren glaubten – und selbst "konservativ" nicht mehr das zu bezeichnen schien, was es bezeichnen sollte –, wurden die politischen Sprachen des Konservativen neu formuliert. In Großbritannien führte die Debatte zu erbitterten Flügelkämpfen in der Conservative Party, aus denen die "Thatcherites" als Gewinner hervorgingen. In Deutschland kristallisierten sich eine liberale und eine neurechte Variante des Begriffs heraus. Für die Unionsparteien wurde dies zu einer enormen Herausforderung. Martina Steber arbeitet in ihrer Studie erstmals heraus, welche weitreichenden Folgen diese Auseinandersetzungen um die Begriffe hatten und wie stark sie unsere Gegenwart prägen.

Prof. Dr. Paul Nolte (Freie Universität Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Süß (Universität Augsburg)
PD Dr. Martina Steber (Institut für Zeitgeschichte)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Wirsching (Institut für Zeitgeschichte)

Download flyer (PDF file)

Open House

17 September, 10am - 2pm

Following the success of its previous participation in Open House London, the German Historical Institute is delighted to again take part in the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Originally constructed in the later seventeen century, 17 Bloomsbury Square, a Grade II listed building, was remodelled by John Nash c1777-8. Highlights include an Adam-style ceiling on the 1st floor and a beautiful staircase with wrought-iron balustrade. Once home to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, it has housed the German Historical Institute since 1982. The Institute will be open on Sunday 17 September between 10am and 2pm. There will be guided tours every 15 minutes on the History of the Building and Surroundings.

Panel Discussion – Cultures of Conservatism in an Age of Transformation: Interpreting Conservatism between the 1970s and 1990s

Thursday 14 September 2017, 6pm

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Usually associated with politics and politicians such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl, conservatism is also used to describe social, economic and cultural values, ideas and attitudes. The panel discussion "Cultures of Conservatism in an Age of Transformation" looks at the whole spectrum of conservatism from a historical perspective. Emphasizing the period between the 1970s and 1990s it will also explore the legacies of the conservatism in this era for today's world.

The discussants are:

  • Andy Beckett, Guardian journalist and author of When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies and Promised you a Miracle: Why 1980-82 Made Modern Britain;
  • Frank Bösch, Professor of Contemporary History and Co-Director of the Centre for Contemporary History (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam);
  • and Bethany Moreton, Professor of History at Dartmouth and author of To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise.

The discussion will be chaired by Christina von Hodenberg, Professor of History at Queen Mary University. It will take place at the German Historical Institute London on Thursday, 14 September 2017 as part of the conference Cultures of Conservatism in the United States and Western Europe between the 1970s and 1990s.

Ranald Michie (Durham): London as a Financial Centre: Banks, Exchanges, Regulators and Markets. The Basis of London’s Enduring Success as a Financial Centre

Monday 11 September 2017, 7pm

Public Lecture

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Exhibition – 500 Years: German Protestants in Britain

7 September – 5 November 2017

Venue: St George’s German Lutheran Church, 55 Alie Street, London E1 8EB

German Protestant congregations have existed in Britain for almost 500 years. Little known to the general public, these churches and their members have left a significant mark on British society and Anglo-German relations. From King George I to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from the German Chapel Royal to the Palatine refugees – the history of German Protestants in Britain is important, wide-ranging and captivating.

As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is celebrated across the world in 2017, this exhibition – organised by the German congregations in London – explores the history of German Protestants in Britain, from the 1520s to the present.

The exhibition takes place from 7 September to 5 November 2017 at St George’s German Lutheran Church London, the oldest surviving German church in Britain. It thus also offers an opportunity to visit this unique Grade II* listed building. A series of events accompanies the exhibition, covering different facets of this 500-year history.

More information is available on the website.

Download flyer (PDF file)

Accompanying Events

All events take place at the exhibition venue, St George's German Lutheran Church. Entry is free.

  • The Bach-Choir from Hannover presents
    Peace on Earth
    – An a capella concert featuring Bach, Brahms und Schönberg

    Sunday, 8 October 2017, 6pm for 6.30
    The Bachchor is a renowned Lutheran church choir from Hannover, Germany. It is currently touring the UK. See the event website for more information.

  • Dr Keith Clements: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Enduring Legacy in Britain
    With comments by Dr Jacob Phillips.
    Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 6pm for 6.30
    Keith Clements is a theologian and author of the book Bonhoeffer and Britain that was published in 2006. Jacob Phillips currently teaches theology at St Mary's University Twickenham London.

  • Rudolf Muhs: In the Shadow of the Third Reich: German Protestants in Britain, 1931-1953
    Wednesday, 25 October, 6pm for 6.30
    Rudolf Muhs is Senior Lecturer in European History at Royal Holloway University of London. He has published widely on the experiences of Germans in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Hans-Christoph Rieger (with Eva Rieger and Renate Schumacher, née Rieger): Growing up in Wartime and Postwar Britain as Children of a German Protestant Clergyman
    Wednesday, 1 November, 6pm for 6.30
    Hans-Christoph, Eva and Renate Rieger are the children of Dr Julius Rieger who was pastor of St George’s German Lutheran Church between 1931 and 1953.

Exhibition – Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919–1933

23 June – 15 October 2017

Venue: Tate Liverpool

The exhibition, conceived in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London, presents the faces of Germany between the two world wars told through the eyes of painter Otto Dix (1891–1969) and photographer August Sander (1876–1964) - two artists whose works document the radical extremes of the country in this period.

Featuring more than 300 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, Portraying a Nation combines two exhibitions: Otto Dix: The Evil Eye, which includes paintings and works on paper that explore Dix’s harshly realistic depictions of German society and brutality of war, and ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander, which presents photographs from Sander’s best known series People of the Twentieth Century, his attempt to document the German people. In painting and photography, these works from a pivotal point in the country’s history reflect both the glamour and the misery of Weimar Republic.

More information is available on the Tate Liverpool website.

Roundtable on the Anglo-German Relationship

28 June 2017, 5.30pm

IHR Series: Rethinking Modern Europe (this link will take you to the IHR website)

Round table with David Blackbourn (Vanderbilt University), Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck University of London) and Celia Applegate (Vanderbilt University).
Chair: Lucy Riall (European University Institute, Florence)

Venue: IHR Wolfson Room NB02, Basement, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

A roundtable discussion to mark the publication of Jan Rüger’s Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea (Oxford University Press, 2017). Organised in co-operation with the German Historical Institute, London.

Arno Paucker – Scholar and Friend

30th March 2017, 6.30pm

A memorial event in honour of the Leo Baeck Institute’s esteemed, longstanding former director Dr Arnold Paucker OBE

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Opening Words by Pauline Paucker

Lecture by Peter Pulzer (Oxford): Arno Paucker, A Scholar Who Reached Out

Panel: Arno Paucker and German-Jewish History

  • Peter Alter (Cologne)
  • Simone Erpel (Berlin)
  • Raphael Gross (Leipzig)
  • Chair: Daniel Wildmann (London)

Please join us in remembering and celebrating a life of passion, dedicated service and many wonderful achievements!

The event is organized jointly by the LBI London and the GHI London.

Download Invitation (PDF)

A recording of this event is available as a MP3 download (this will take you to the Leo Baeck Institute website)

Panel Discussion – Luther’s Legacy: The Thirty Years War and the Modern Notion of State in the Empire, 1530s to 1790s

21st March 2017, 5.30pm

Panel Discussion with Robert von Friedeburg, Mark Greengrass, Jo Whaley and Peter Wilson.
The discussion will be moderated by Hamish Scott.

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Is there a distinctive German concept of the state? When and under what circumstances did it emerge? What was its intellectual context? The renowned historian Robert von Friedeburg has presented a new interpretation of these much debated questions linking them to late-medieval and, in particular, Lutheran notions of the polity. The panel discussion will consider how this may affect our understanding of Germany in the early-modern period and beyond.

Robert von Friedeburg is Professor of Early Modern History at the Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. He has published widely on early modern European intellectual and political history; Mark Greengrass is Professor emeritus of Early Modern History at the University of Sheffield. His areas of research are the political culture of early-modern France, on the Protestant Reformation and its impact; Hamish Scott is Professor emeritus of Early Modern History at the University of Glasgow. He specializes in the history of early modern international relations, the history of the German-speaking lands and early modern European nobilities; Joachim Whaley is Professor of German History and Thought at the University of Cambridge. His research interests lie in German history, thought and culture from 1500 to the present day; Peter H. Wilson is Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford. His research interests are particularly the political, military, social, and cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire between 1495 and 1806.

Robert von Friedeburg: Luther’s Legacy: The Thirty Years War and the Modern Notion of ‘State’ in the Empire, 1530s to 1790s
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. - ISBN: 978-1-107-11187-5
GHIL Library Library shelf-mark: Sd.11/5810

Download flyer (PDF file)

Exhibition – German Historical Institute. 40 year anniversary

7 November 2016 to 31 January 2017

To celebrate the 40 year anniversary an exhibition on the institute’s history is on public display at the GHIL until 31 January 2017. The exhibits and panels focus on the foundation and the first years of the GHIL, the history of 17 Bloomsbury Square, and the activities and research over last four decades. The exhibition was compiled by Helen Whatmore and Tobias Becker, and designed by Shaun Campbell.

German Historical Institute – 40 year anniversary (download as PDF)