History - Group 1

Date :  2nd and 4th Tuesday
Time : 10.00am to 12.00am
Venue :  Normally at Droushia Heights Hotel
NB:  Meetings currently suspended until further notice
Group Leader:  Wally Oppenheim    Tel: 97 768437 or 26 940839   Email:
Assistant Group Leader:   Denise Holt   Tel:  96 539245    Email:

This is a very popular group with more than 180 members. We cover a wide variety of history topics. Recent topics have included the History of Ireland, Civil Rights in the USA and the Rise of Hitler. Future topics will include: Women's History and the fight for Equality, the Rise of the Romanovs in Russia and The Making of the Welfare State: The labour government of 1945-51

No prior knowledge is required and members can join at any time as all talks are stand-alone. All talks are supported with PowerPoint presentations. Reading lists and other information are provided as background. A lively presentation is guaranteed.

We meet in the large purpose-built Lecture theatre at Droushia Heights Hotel. There is no limit on numbers, so you can join at any time.



“The only thing that History teaches us” declared the famous historian A.J.P. Taylor, “is that History teaches us nothing”. Well, maybe. It certainly enables us to understand the present, and all my History talks I hope help us to make sense of the present.

The two History groups meet at Droushia Heights Hotel. Both cover the same topics. Most recently I have just finished a series of talks on the History of Ireland, from the earliest days to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Next I will be covering the Civil Rights movement in the USA, from its earliest days during the American Civil War to the murder of Martin Luther King. Civil Rights is very much unfinished business in the USA, as the recent emergence of the “Black Lives Matter” movement suggests. This is a story with plenty of villains- the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, “Bull” Connor etc. How Martin Luther King was able to use the media and popular music, as well as his own charisma and pacifism, to help overcome the rulers of the Deep South will be at the core of the talks.

The next topic I will be covering starting in 2017, is the Rise of Hitler to 1933. Today regarded as the most evil man who has ever lived, he was in the 1930s easily the most popular leader Germany has ever had. How was it possible for such a monster to come to power in a civilised democratic state? I will cover his early life, how his political ideas developed and why he was able to come to power and then in the space of a few months make himself dictator- helped by the rich and powerful in Germany. It is a story with some uncomfortable parallels today. It is actually quite easy for populist extremists to play on people’s fears and prejudices in a democracy.

After that I will be looking at the Rise of the Romanov Dynasty in Russia. The ill-fated Russian royal family ran Russia as their personal property for more than 300 years. Their impact on Russia, and on Europe, has been immense. A cast of well-known characters from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and Rasputin will eventually be covered.

At some later date I will also repeat my talks on the History of Cyprus.

The two groups are both popular, but there is no limit on numbers and new members are always welcome to join. I offer a lively and often provocative presentation with PowerPoint slides and video clips.

For more information, please contact me at:

Wally Oppenheim