by Julie Lindahl
Is it possible to draw a line under history, particularly when that history involves our families? If we accept that there are certain essential things about the past that cannot be spoken of, does that impact us and the generations that follow? If we choose to delve into that history, are we prepared to face the consequences?
These are among the issues taken up by The Pendulum, an autobiographical account of a Brazilian-born granddaughter who faces each of these questions, and eventually finds that she has no choice but to look into her family’s past and the part it played in National Socialism and the SS.
With this book, Lindahl demonstrates why, within the vast majority of families seventy years after the end of the Second World War, the painful work of facing the past has only just begun.
ABOUT THE BOOK
"The Pendulum is a powerful, painfully human and honest work of words and heart...Beautiful in the writing sense, horrific in reflection upon all the lives.”
– James Wine, Poet, Writer and Filmmaker
"I have just finished The Pendulum by Julie Lindahl. It is a deeply moving and mind-spinning autobiographical novel by one of the most righteous and bravest women today… It has taken a rare combination of personal relentless thirst for the truth and high moral and professional integrity as a historian-novelist for her to painstakingly unearth the terrible Nazi past of her grandfather in Second World War Poland."
– Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Programme Director, Institute of Global Affairs, The London School of Economics
I cannot remember a book in which a family member relates her experiences concerning the story of her family during that period of history so perceptively, intuitively and courageously. I have devoted a considerable part of my life to shedding light on the regional history of my home. So far I have not met anyone from your generation who has described the reverberations of that terrible Darwinism, this “Herrenmensch” orientation, and its overwhelming consequences so intensively. I thank you with all my heart.
Gerhard Hoch, Distinguished Historian of National
Socialism in Schleswig-Holstein and Theologian (1923-2015)
“I opened “The Pendulum”, and immediately found myself drawn into it. As a historian, I often wondered how academics could profit from the determined pursuit of haunted family stories by descendents of individual perpetrators – which already forms a branch of its own of WWII and Holocaust literature. Here’s the breathtaking answer.”
– Jochen Böhler, Historian of the German Occupation of Poland (1939-45) and the Perpetrators of the Holocaust, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena
“Truths that can’t be questioned, redefined or reimagined. They are the authority. The Pendulum reminds us that you can become trapped in your own version of the truth or your myth about yourself or society. Then when you cannot reconcile that truth with the reality around you, your last defence is to cling to it at all costs.”
– Cecilia Nordström, Director of Operations, Tällberg Foundation
“Lindahl’s book provides a gut-wrenchingly honest account of an individual’s search for the truth about her family’s history, while suggesting some best practices for all historians. Is the truth as simple as an objective account of history? And is this even a realistic goal that is possible to achieve? These are just a few of the questions that Lindahl poses through her journey to write The Pendulum.”
– Amy Stern, 9th Grade Teacher, History and Writing Workshop,
Curriculum Facilitator grades 5-9, Humanities, Rippowam Cisqua School, New York
“Your writing demonstrates an exquisite sensitivity to the feelings of others.”
– Neil Kutchinsky, reader, Virginia (USA)
“I have just finished reading your beautifully written story. I am feeling full of hope for the future as I put it down. An untold story is perhaps the most powerful of all and with the telling of it begins the healing.”
– Megan Cosgrove, reader, London
Papilio's concept is to develop unique books of high quality which have the ability to inform, move and satisfy the reader. We publish some of these ourselves, some in Swedish and some in English. The Pendulum is one of these. Contact us for further information and for queries concerning purchase of foreign rights at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Lindahl is an author and social entrepreneur living in Sweden. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Wellesley College, was a Fulbright scholar in Germany and holds a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from Oxford University.
In 2015-16 Julie was a recipient of the Stevens Traveling Fellowship from Wellesley College, which supported her to complete six years’ of research that took her to Germany, Latin America and Poland. In 2013 she was named Honorary Research Associate of University College London in connection with its ongoing work on reverberations of war in Germany and Europe since 1945.
Julie continues to write and speak widely in schools and other institutions in Europe and the United States in order to generate a greater awareness of history, how its legacies bear themselves out in the present day and why discussing the past is essential to peace in our time. She is currently preparing an online learning platform for use in connection with “The Pendulum,” which is being used as required reading at a school in the US.
Julie is the founder of Stories for Society, a non-profit which works with storytelling for learning and communication.
She lives in Sweden with her husband and twins. For further information, please see www.julielindahl.com.
Published works by Julie Lindahl:
The Pendulum (Papilio, 2015/2016)
Rose in the Sand (Gather Community Press/Author House, 2011)
Letters from the Island (Senten.se, 2010)
On My Swedish Island: Discovering the Secrets of Scandinavian Well-being (Tarcher Penguin, 2005)