Webinar: Descendants Facing the Painful Past of WWII and Holocaust

Learnings from The Pendulum, an autobiographical novel by Julie Catterson Lindahl ‘88

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Time:  3:00-4:00 pm EST (12:00-1:00 pm PST) 
Speaker: Julie Catterson Lindahl (author), Stevens Traveling Fellow 2015-2016

Presentation followed by discussion with audience. 
Registration is required for joining the webinar.

Please preregister through the form at the bottom of this page. We ask that you please put your class year in the Organization field!

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Topics covered:

  • The story of The Pendulum and the historical narrative it reveals.
  • WWII and the Holocaust in families: The most difficult battleground of ‘memory 
  • Our fear of the past and our right to the past: Why bother with the past and the dead? Isn’t it better left alone? Contemporary relevance of the research in a world experiencing a rise in xenophobia, radicalization and war.
  • Knowing the truth: Can those of us in later generations ever know the truth and do we have the right to judge? What is the value of re-telling narratives which inevitably cast the perception of another time on the past?
  • Reaching closure: What do we mean by it and is it necessary? 
  • Retelling and rewriting: myth deconstruction, the revelation of complexity, forgiveness and the transformational power of storytelling.

Reading The Pendulum in advance of the webinar is highly recommended. Order it here (e-book format only for American orders).

There will be a live Q&A session. If you would like to submit your questions for Julie in advance, please email your question in advance to webinar88wellesley@gmail.com.

In 2010, Julie Catterson Lindahl ’88 visited the German Federal Archives and discovered a family secret. Her grandfather served in the SS in occupied Poland throughout the duration of WWII. For Lindahl, who was born in Brazil as a result of her grandparents’ flight there following the war, and whose mother had been traumatized by a past she could not understand, it was essential to know as much of the truth as possible. She set out on a five-year journey which took her to archives and to rural areas in northern Germany and Poland where she interviewed eyewitnesses and survivors who attested to her grandfather’s brutal fanaticism. The Pendulum is a first autobiographical account of her work which she continues, now in Germany, Brazil and Paraguay with the support of the Stevens Traveling Fellowship 2015-2016. Julie will visit Wellesley to speak about her work with the support of the Fellowship in 2016. Julie’s work with non-profit Stories for Society, of which she is the founder, informs her research and writing. Her main goal with the work remains compassion rather than blame, and an effort to understand how our retelling of personal history can become a tool for peace.

If you have any questions or comments about the webinars, please contact Mana Uchino, VP  Class of ’88 (2013-2018) (manatokyo@hotmail.com, 650-813-1741).



Tuesday, 11/17/15 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm | iCal


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