This profound and challenging book was first published in 1943 and was reissued in 2017. It documents Amy Buller's reflections on her many visits to Germany in the run up to the outbreak of the Second World War. At a time when few if any women had a role as serious public intellectuals, Buller defied expectations with her tenacity and determination to understand the intellectual foundations of the National Socialist moment.

Darkness over Germany is not an academic treatise but rather the nuanced and careful reflections of a discerning and shrewd woman who was committed to ensuring the truth was told. As Edmund Newel says in his afterword, how closely the modern situation should be mapped to the situation in 1930s Germany is a moot point.  But whatever the degree of similarity or difference, Darkness over Germany certainly has much to teach us about the human condition, the ease with which we can find ourselves in complex and compromised positions and the moral courage (or lack of it) that people show in response.

Buller tells stories of those who resisted the Nazi regime, including the moral courage of children in defying their teachers.  She has stories of the complex views of young Army officers, grateful to be in work, but detesting the teaching of the Nazi's.  Buller documents how some become committed to the cause, while still others awaken to the horror of which they are now part and realise they may be unable to escape.  Particularly fascinating were the sections that detail how the youth of Germany were won over and how Nazism became a religion that gave their lives meaning and purpose. The case for training young people in critical thinking was never more clearly expressed. This is a book that deserves a wide readership. 

The St Philip’s Centre will be holding a series of six discussion evenings 7:30-9:00pm, running from Tuesday 20th February to Tuesday 27th March. We will utilise the study guide produced by the Council of Christians and Jews in partnership with Cumberland Lodge to guide our discussions. The guide can be downloaded here, and you can book a place at the discussions herePlaces are limited and on a first come, first served basis.