Darkness over Germany – Study Guide (2018)

A study guide to accompany Amy Buller's 'Darkness over Germany', exploring contemporary themes of nationalism, populism and extremism

Resource type: Study Guide

Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times is a new study guide for Darkness over Germany that encourages exploration into divisive issues such as nationalism, populism and extremism. It is published by the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) and Cumberland Lodge.

Guest contributors include:

  • Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,
  • Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg,
  • Novelist and speaker, Salley Vickers.

Darkness over Germany

The study guide consists of six short chapters and accompanies the 2017 edition of Amy Buller’s groundbreaking 1943 book, Darkness over Germany: A Warning from History. Buller’s book explores how young people gravitated towards National Socialism in the 1930s. It draws light on many of the most pressing social issues we face in current times.

It was this book that inspired King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to establish Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park in 1947, to try to avoid a repeat of the events of 1930s Germany.

This study guide draws on key conversations with Nazi Party members and public figures relayed in Darkness over Germany. It highlight the challenges of addressing nationalism, populism and extremism in our own communities today. It offers six short reflections, each with questions for discussion, and is suitable for short courses in educational settings.

Study guide contributors 

Dr Rowan Williams, chose Darkness over Germany as one of his two books of the year for the New Statesman. Launching the 2017 edition, he described Buller’s work as, ‘a really remarkable book by a very remarkable woman’.

He spoke of the spiritual vacuum that emerged in the inter-war period in Germany, the risks of a generation growing up without hope, seeking a magical ‘problem-solver’ to meet their needs, and the resonances of 1930s Germany for many of the issues we face today.

Our Chief Executive, Canon Dr Edmund Newell, co-edited Moral Dilemmas in Challenging Times and contributed a chapter. He said, ‘Both the CCJ and Cumberland Lodge firmly believe that open and honest discussions are essential in responding to issues that divide us as a society. This study guide will encourage church groups and others to engage in fruitful discussions about how best to respond.’

The new guide can be downloaded below and from the CCJ website.

Darkness over Germany Study Guide cover