Lamp and Owl Digital - Birkbeck University of London Events Listing

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events, 5-11 January

7 January – 19:00-20:30 – After Liberation – Legacies of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Venue: Beveridge Hall, Senate House


On the 29 April 1945 US troops entered the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp, near Munich, where they found 32,000 inmates form over 30 European nations. Among them was Edgar Kupfer, a 39-year-old German political prisoner. A few house after his liberation, Kupfer noted in his diary: ‘I shall celebrate this all my life as a second birthday, as the day, when I received the gift of life anew’.

In this lecture, Professor Wachsmann will explore the second life of Edgar Kupfer and the lives of others who survived the concentration camps, estimated at up to half a million people. In particular, he will consider the first months and years after liberation, looking at the fate of survivors, at the testimony and memory of the camps, and at the punishment of perpetrators. He will conclude by looking at the legacy of the camps since the 1950s.

Nikolaus Wachsmann is Professor of Modern European History at Birkbeck. He has written widely on race, discipline and punishment in modern Germany, with a special focus on the Third Reich. His Books include the prize-winning monograph Hitler’s Prisons (Yale University Press, 2004) and the Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories, co-edited with Jane Caplan (Routledge, 2010). His comprehensive history of he SS concentration camps will appear in April 2015.

This public lecture, hosted by the Pears Institute for the study of anti-Semitism, forms part of the Beyond Camps and Forced Labour Conference, organised by Birkbeck, University of London, Royal Holloway, University of London, University of Wolverhampton, in association with Imperial War Museums, and the Foundation ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and Future’ (Stiftung EVZ).

9 January – 18:00-21:00 – Interrupted Memory: memory and politics in Argentina and Chile

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


Presenter: Michael Chanan

One of the interviewees in Interrupted Memory (Memoria Interrumpida) recalls being detained in the 1976 coup in Argentina. She was beaten and raped. She began, defensively, to play a role. ‘Me, I know nothing about politics. I’m just a girl, I’m 17.’ Her captors let her go with a warning, ‘You don’t leave this place twice. Behave properly, don’t say anything.’ She was so traumatized that she went on playing the role of the naïve girl for years. Real life was suspended.

Michael Chanan’s film charts not just the public history of recent political violence in Chile and Argentina, but also the intimate and inner damage it has wreaked.

For more information about the film, see

10 January – 12:30-17:30 Frederick Wiseman’s ‘At Berkeley’

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


Screening of Frederick Wiseman’s At Berkeley (2013, 244 minutes) followed by discussion. This event is organised in collaboration with the Independent Cinema Office.

Frederick Wiseman, one of America’s greatest living documentarists (Titicut Follies, Basic Training, Public Housing), delivers his 38th documentary since 1967, this time examining The University of California at Berkeley. Without comment Wiseman shows how the Berkeley campus elucidates the struggle of contemporary Western society to maintain itself in the face of global political and economic flux.

The screening will be introduced by Selina Robertson (Independent Cinema Office) and will be followed by a discussion with David Jenkins (Little White Lies).

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