is an Affiliated Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge. Her second book, a history of the Napolas, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.
Her first book, Sparta's German Children: The ideal of ancient Sparta in the Royal Prussian Cadet Corps, 1818-1920, and in National Socialist elite schools (the Napolas), 1933-1945, was published in 2013, and has subsequently received critical acclaim from reviewers in several disciplines, including Classics, intellectual history, and the history of education. Her article 'Surviving Stunde Null' was also awarded German History journal's "Best Article of 2015" prize. From 2012-2015, Helen held a Research Fellowship at Lucy Cavendish College, having previously completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Gonville & Caius College. Her research has been funded by (among others) the AHRC, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
- humanistic education in Nazi Germany
- history and memory in post-war Germany
- youth exchange during the 20th century; Anglo-German relations
- Greco-German relations and philhellenism from the 18th century to the present
- Austrian history in the inter-war period; comparative study of 20th-century fascist regimes
Brill's Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, edited by Helen Roche and Kyriakos Demetriou, has just been published by Brill. The volume provides the first ever guide to the manifold uses and reinterpretations of the classical tradition in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. The essays contained within explore how political propaganda manipulated and reinvented the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome in order to create consensus and historical legitimation for the Fascist and National Socialist dictatorships. Read more...
Helen's analyses of Ian Kershaw's The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich and Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin have recently been published by Routledge in the Macat Library series of guides to classic works of scholarship.
On 25 March 2017, Helen spoke at a conference which took place at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, entitled "Protagonists of Political Mythology: How do Individuals and Collectives become History?"