In My Grandfather’s Shadow

In My Grandfather’s Shadow

A story of war, trauma and the legacy of silence


'Fascinating ... an extremely courageous work.' The Lady
'Absolutely extraordinary ... Findlay reveals a vast, hidden European story that few nations have ever been brave enough to confront' Keith Lowe'

'Beautifully written, poignant and acutely perceptive' Sinclair McKay
'Moving and powerful' Julia Samuel

In My Grandfather's Shadow is an unflinching, thought-provoking fusion of memoir and history, and an exploration of the hidden scars left across generations by the conflict and horrors of the Second World War.

In a quest to discover the truth about her German grandfather, first a proud Wehrmacht General serving on the Eastern front, then a broken POW on trial for Nazi war crimes, Angela Findlay travels across Europe and Russia to uncover the untold story of millions of Germans long buried not only in guilt and shame but also trauma.

Carefully breaking the silence surrounding so many of World War Two's perpetrators, she challenges widespread binary narratives and offers a way forward that allows the intergenerational wounds to heal and us all to grasp the urgent lessons of the darkest episode in modern history.

Brave, profoundly insightful and moving, In My Grandfather's Shadow is a courageous look at a taboo subject and raises important questions about how and why we should remember the past.


  • A remarkable cross-pollination of memoir, psychology and history in which the author comes to grips with being the granddaughter of a Nazi general.
    i Paper

About the author

Angela Findlay

Angela Findlay is an Anglo-German artist and public speaker who has spent much of her career teaching art in prisons. Her time 'behind bars' in Germany and later as Arts Co-ordinator for the London-based Koestler Arts charity informed her research into the intergenerational consequences of unresolved trauma, guilt and shame. For over a decade, she has been lecturing and writing on the topic as well as on post-war remembrance, resolution and reconciliation. In My Grandfather's Shadow is her first book.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more