• Date and time: Friday 11 June 2021, 1pm to 2pm
  • Location: Online
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Book tickets

Event details

It began with an armchair. It began with the surprise discovery of a stash of personal documents covered in swastikas sewn into its cushion. 

Join Daniel Lee, author of The SS Officer’s Armchair, for a gripping historical detective story as he explains how this chance discovery led to a trail of cold calls, documents, coincidences and family secrets. Who was Dr Robert Griesinger? What had his life been – and how had it ended?

Daniel will reveal the strange life of a man whose ambition propelled him to become part of the Nazi machinery of terror. Dr Robert Griesinger’s name is not infamous. But to understand the inner workings of the Third Reich, we need to know not just its leaders, but the ordinary Nazis who made up its ranks. Exploring how Griesinger’s choices reverberate into present-day Germany, and among descendants of perpetrators, Daniel will raise potent questions about blame, manipulation and responsibility.

Discover more about Nazi Germany and how such regimes are made not by monsters, but by ordinary people.


This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar and you’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before it takes place. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.


Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner.  In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.   

About the speaker

Dr Daniel Lee is a historian of the Second World War and a specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during the Holocaust. He is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of Pétain's Jewish Children (2014). As a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, Daniel is a regular broadcaster on radio.


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