A-level History Student Conference, Birmingham 27th February 2013
Baroness Ruth Henig, Lancaster University gave a carefully researched and far reaching discourse on ‘A republic without friends’ which covered the multifarious political, social and economic situations in Germany between 1919 and 1933 and their impact on the Weimar democratic government. Dr Frank McDonough, University of Liverpool, delivered an address on how far the Nazis achieved economic self-sufficiency; a question which featured in the OCR examination in January 2013! Dr Matthew Feldman, Teeside University tackled the question ‘How successful was the Nazi regime in achieving both uniformity and conformity among its young people?’ This question featured in the OCR examination in May 2012.
The undoubted star of the day however was Professor Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University, who, once again, entertained everyone with a lecture on ‘The Hitler Myth: Where did power lie in Nazi Germany?’ His explanations of the challenging intentionalist versus structuralist versus Marxist arguments regarding Hitler’s effectiveness as a dictator were presented in an easily accessible way with his comparison of the Nazi system of control with the way some educational establishments are run today causing much amusement amongst the audience! Mr. S. Jackson
‘Like the last trip the day was informative and a brilliant experience. The lectures were presented well and were helpful in reinforcing my memory of the topics and the different factors we would have to write about in exams as well as broadening my knowledge of some of the main events.’ Aishaafreen C, Year 12
‘The AS History lectures were again very thorough and informative. They were much better than last time in terms of presentation and delivery. Once again, Professor Roger Griffin delivered an outstanding lecture on the charisma of Hitler which helped me to understand about his power and where it came from. His suggestions for compiling an argument and his tips on what A level examiners look for were very useful. Other lectures were also very detailed and very enjoyable. Overall, the experience was great and gave us an insight into how lectures will be conducted at university. Sumbal G, Year 12
‘Just like the previous study day the lectures were once again interesting and very useful; they helped develop my knowledge that I will need when it comes to writing and answering the questions in the examination. I thought that the lecturers had improved a lot from December; how they delivered their lectures was more enjoyable and interesting; Professor Griffin once again being the most enjoyable of them all. The last time Dr McDonough’s lecture was a bit dry, however, this time his lecture on the Nazis Four Year Plan was much better. Overall I found the day very beneficial to me; it was a good day out.’ Krzysztof T, Year 12
‘Going to the lectures at Birmingham was really useful. The first lecture by Baroness Henig about the Weimar Republic was full of useful facts but I found myself losing concentration from time to time. Professor Griffin spoke about the Structualist and Intentionalist points of view on how Hitler’s plans were carried out. The way he delivered his lecture was very entertaining. His style of delivery and his use of body language really appealed to me and the rest of the audience. He was enjoyable to watch and related the information from Nazi Germany to real life situations today.’ Carrie L, Year 12