Dr. Bettina Blum „Little London in NRW. Anglo-German Relations 1945 – 2019“

Einladung zu einem Vortrag in englischer Sprache
Thursday, 13th February 2020 at 7 pm

RüKONTOR (5. Etage), Rüttenscheider Str. 144, 45131 Essen

Bettina Blum is a social historian. She completed her PhD on Women Police in West and East Germany at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in 2012. Since 2015 she is working on the British occupation and stationing of troops in Germany. She curated the exhibitions „The British in Westphalia / The British in North Rhine-Westphalia“ for the city of Paderborn (2017/18) and for the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf (2019). She is also working at the centre for memorial culture in Duisburg.


Liberators, occupiers, allies, and what else? Britons and Germans have been living together in North Rhine-Westphalia for more than 70 years. The historian Dr. Bettina Blum has explored the impact of the British occupation and the troop deployment on the people and the region. The talk focuses on everyday life and personal experiences of both Germans and Britons.
The British contributed to shaping the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: They founded it, they organized it on a democratic basis and left a huge cultural footprint. On the other side, British military communities celebrated Carnival or St. Nicholas‘ Day, they discussed strange German by-laws and adopted some German words. An array of topics will be covered during the talk, ranging from the requisitioning of  houses to cooperation at the workplace, experiences of binational couples and families up to the problems of learning a new language, the military exercises and social debates concerning the relationship between the military and society. Glimpses of life in the British barracks and settlements provide an additional insight into how the soldiers and families lived in and experienced North Rhine-Westphalia.
About 300 people participated in the project – Britons and Germans of all ages, including students, members of the military and civilians. They all shared their knowledge and their memories and therefore provided many new and also very individual and personal perspectives. Bettina Blum will present a range of the collected photos, documents and interview clips and invites the participants to join a discussion about their experiences and about their views on the question „What remains?“

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Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der

Sparkasse Essen

Unser Vortragsraum befindet sich in der 5. Etage des RüKONTOR (Aufzug vorhanden), Rüttenscheider Str. 144/Eingang Gregorstraße, gegenüber dem Girardet Haus. Parkmöglichkeiten auf den anliegenden Strassen, auf den Parkplätzen des Girardethauses und am Ende der Gregorstraße vorhanden. U-Bahn Verbindung von Essen-Hbf: Linien U11, U101 und U107, Station Martinstraße (3 Minuten Fußweg). Busse von der Haltestelle Girardet Haus (Linie 142) und von der Haltestelle Martinstraße (Linien 142, 160 und 161).