Morning; The Year without Summer.
Our topic is the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815. We shall look at the event itself and then on the effects it had globally for up to three years - although at the time no one connected the volcanic eruption with three years of unseasonable weather. Our focus will be on its effects in Britain. We shall in passing have reference to 'Frankenstein', Lord Byron, Sir Stamford Raffles, Luke Howard ('The Godfather of Clouds'), and The Pentrich Rising in the East Midlands (1817) - finally but not least to Tottenham Hotspur FC!
Tambora by Gillen D'Arcy Wood
The Year Without Summer ( a recently published work of fiction, well reviewed) by Guinevere Glasfurd
Afternoon: Berlin during World War Two 1939- Christmas/New Year 1944/45
We shall end our story of Berlin in early New Year 1945, before the Battle of Berlin and The Fall of The Third Reich, which is our topic for next week.
The talk this week will be quite wide ranging, from the Allied Bombing of Berlin to the bleak Christmas of 1944. We shall revisit Berlin Zoo to see how it fared during the war, the German defeat at Stalingrad and its subsequent implications for Berlin, the 1944 Plot to kill Hitler and take over Berlin, and a discourse on the morality of bombing civilian targets, as well as attempting to answer the old question of why did so many Germans accept, even welcome, the 3rd Reich, especially highly civilised and cosmopolitan Berliners. We finish our afternoon by pointing the way forward to Berlin's destruction later in 1945
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 by Antony Beevor
Inside the 3rd Reich by Albert Speer
The Zookeepers'War by JW Mohnhaupt
Opposing Hitler by Kenneth Sears
Just War by Guthrie and Quinlan