A few years ago, a German radical historian named Albert Scharenberg noticed something intriguing: young people in Germany were becoming far less likely to absorb information from reading books than from listening to podcasts. As part of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, a progressive non-profit devoted to civic education, democratic participation, and the empowerment of marginalised groups, he was looking for a way to connect with people in their late teens and twenties through an engaging medium that explored significant historical topics without sacrificing depth or complexity. The result was Rosalux History, a German-language podcast that he co-hosts with Anika Taschke. Covering a wide range of topics from German colonialism to the history of the Squatters Movement to the Spanish Civil War, it is dedicated to (in the words of Walter Benjamin) “brushing history against the grain”, replacing stories shaped by the victors with more nuanced and dynamic narratives from below that suggest strategic possibilities for social and political change.

In this conversation, we speak to Albert Scharenberg about the evolution of Rosalux History, the radical potential of the podcast medium, and the challenge of disseminating radical history in a political climate where history is too often simplified, falsified, dismissed, or ignored.

You can read more of Albert Scharenberg’s reflections on Red Rosa, the graphic novel discussed in this episode, in his article here.

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