End-of-year questions (2): historian Lennert Savenije

02 Jan 2019

Lennert Savenije received his PhD this year for his long-awaited book “Nijmegen, collaboratie en verzet” (Nijmegen, collaboration and resistance), and contributed to the “educational escape room” at Radboud University.

How do you look back on your PhD graduation and the release of your book?

‘It was extraordinary to see that I reached such a diverse audience with my book: academics, but also secondary school students and people from Nijmegen who do not work at the university. It was an honour to write a book that helps people to talk about the history of their city. The same is actually true for the opening of the escape room as well, which was not only historically accurate, but also just fun to do.’

What was the highlight of 2018 for you?

‘I cannot really think of anything other than obtaining my PhD right now. Another, literal highlight was my visit to Adlerhorst, Adolf Hitlers’ former tea house in the mountains near Munich. I had been curious about that place for a long time. It felt really eerie. The view is beautiful, but you know: this was Adolf Hitler’s view.’

What is the best thing you’ve seen, heard, or read this year?

‘I can recommend Babylon Berlin to anyone. The series is set in 1929, a tipping point in German history. They recreated Berlin from before the Second World War using computers and there are already a lot of references to the upcoming Nazi period. The series is very popular in Germany.’

What is your wish for 2019, for yourself or for others?

‘All the usual, like good luck, health, and love. But primarily, I wish for curiosity. Perhaps I was brainwashed by the new Radboud song after all, haha.’

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