Vale, Ursula Mahlendorf (1929-2018)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Emerita Ursula Mahlendorf (Germanic & Slavic Studies, UC Santa Barbara). Ursula was an active member of UCNCPIPC, and participated in many of our annual meetings. She was also an active supporter of New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara.

In 2009, Ursula wrote “The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood,” a powerful and moving memoir of growing up in Germany as the daughter of active Nazis.  In her review of the book, Anna Kuhn writes:

“Rare are the accounts of what growing up in Nazi Germany was like for people who were reared to think of Adolf Hitler as the savior of his country, and rarer still are accounts written from a female perspective… The Shame of Survival is a compelling memoir of a girl’s experiences growing up in Nazi Germany that analyzes the lifelong implications of Nazi indoctrination on a sensitive, thoughtful young woman. It shows how a reluctant, shy, frightened, and naïve BDM member becomes swept up in Nazi ideology and documents the lifelong psychic ramifications of living with that legacy: feelings of guilt and shame, a need to work through these experiences and to take responsibility for and mourn the past. Focusing on both class and gender, Mahlendorf’s memoir offers a unique and valuable perspective on a growing body of emergent belated narratives on Nazi Germany by German émigré academics.”

A memorial service is being held on Friday, November 9th (3pm, 1505 Portesuello Ave, Santa Barbara). For information on flowers or memorial gifts, please contact her niece, Annette Mahlendorf (


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