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Justice, Literature and Remembrance – discussion with Philippe Sands and Bernhard Schlink


5. July 2023
18:00 – 19:30


Lesesaal der Akademie für europäischen Menschenrechtsschutz der Universität zu Köln
Kerpener Straße 30
Köln 50937

Justice, Literature and Remembrance. Discussion with Philippe Sands and Bernhard Schlink

When the past casts its shadow on the present, dealing with it becomes a process in which society makes sure of its place. It takes place not only in historical research and legal debate, but also and especially in literature. The most recent works by the authors and legal experts Philippe Sands and Bernhard Schlink deal with the catastrophes of Germany’s recent past. How can literature contribute to the historical and juridical exploration of the past? Which moral and political demands does it have to meet? In the conversation moderated by the author and journalist Géraldine Schwarz, these questions will be explored in greater depth.

In his investigative work “The Rat Line” (2021), the British-French writer and legal expert Philippe Sands outlines the escape story of SS officer Otto Wächter. Drawing on private letters and diaries written by the family of Wächter, Sands provides insights into the strategic networks of National Socialist collaborators. The present-day treatment of Wächter’s life from the perspective of his son is a subject as well.

The book “Die Enkelin” (2021) by the German legal expert and author Bernhard Schlink deals with the story of an escape as well – that of a citizen of the GDR. The novel addresses contradictory memories, repressed guilt, and the struggle to reconcile different worldviews.

Moderation Géraldine Schwarz

Event will be held in English.

Unfortunately, this event is fully booked. 

In cooperation with Akademie für Europäischen Menschenrechtsschutz and the Law Forum Foundation.