Previously at the ICA - Events

Bernhard Schlink: National Guilt

16 Sep 2010

In his latest book, Guilt About the Past, acclaimed German writer Bernhard Schlink explores the phenomenon of guilt and the long shadow of past guilt both as a uniquely German experience and as a global one. He considers how to use the lesson of history to motivate individual moral behavior, how to reconcile a guilt-laden past, how the role of law functions in this process, and how the theme of guilt influences his own fiction. Based on the Weidenfeld Lectures he delivered at Oxford University, Guilt About the Past is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand how events of the past can affect a nation's future.

Born in 1944 near Bielefeld, Germany, Bernhard Schlink studied law in Heidelberg and Berlin. He is a professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law and the Philosophy of Law at Berlin’s Humboldt University. He has authored works in both fiction and non-fiction. Before publishing The Reader in 1995, he wrote several prize-winning mystery novels. Since its publication, The Reader has been translated into over twenty languages and was recently made into an Oscar-winning film starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet.

The interlocutor for this talk is Richard J. Evans, Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University and a specialist on the history of Nazi Germany. His books include "The Third Reich at War", published by Penguin, and "Telling Lies About Hitler", an account of the Irving/Lipstadt libel trial, in which he was a principal expert witness.

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