Open Society under Threat? A Warning from History

19 May 2017

Darkness Over Germany Launch(Photography by: Graham Lacdao)

St Paul’s Cathedral played host last night to the launch for Darkness Over Germany by Amy Buller, which we at Arcadia Books have republished this year following its original publication in 1943. During the interwar years, Amy Buller travelled frequently to Germany in order to confront and challenge the Nazi ideology head on by speaking both to men and women in thrall to Hitler’s vision and those who were fundamentally opposed but nonetheless continued to serve the nation. Buller recorded these stories in Darkness Over Germany and, following the publication of her book, was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth and King George VI. The educational institute at Cumberland Lodge was established with their support as a place to foster critical thinking by acting as a safe space for ‘controversial’ discussions. 2017 is the 70th anniversary of Cumberland Lodge.

Such a distinguished venue was matched only by the speaker’s panel which included such luminaries as Dr Rowan Williams, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Professor Maiken Umbach. The evening began with a compelling reading from Amy Buller’s book, courtesy of Tamsin Greig, whose words of warning and political vigilance surely resonate with our modern troubles. The panel discussion which followed illuminated many of Amy Buller’s concerns with people’s fascination with the ideology of  fascism in Germany during the 1930s and drew parallels with the turbulence of our own current affairs.

Above all, the event and discussion succeeded in reminding us all about the importance of establishing safe dialogues that allow us to debate, argue and challenge ideologies that threaten the world we live in.

Darkness Over Germany by E. Amy Buller is now available to buy from all major retailers, including