Meet Julie Lindahl '88, Author of "The Pendulum"  

Memoir traces her journey to uncover her grandparents' role in the Third Reich and the unclaimed guilt that devours generations of her family. 

Do you remember receiving the Spring 2017 Wellesley Magazine? You might not remember receiving the magazine, but you probably remember an article about Julie Catterson Lindahl and the recent publication of her book The Pendulum.  The pendulum is used by Julie’s grandmother to decide between good and bad. It becomes a symbol of the elusiveness of what is the truth.


This is Julie’s story of her search to discover the real role her grandparents played in Nazi Germany.


The Pendulum is Julie’s story of discovering her grandfather was a member of the Nazi party and that she had been deceived by her family. As Gerald Steinacher of the University of Nebraska puts it “The Pendulum is a deeply engaging and captivating human search for answers, atonement and closure.”


Julie is on a book tour to California and the East Coast and has graciously agreed to visit San Diego (San Francisco and Los Angeles also included). 


You’ll have several chances to chat with Julie and, if you order The Pendulum in advance, she’ll sign it for you.  The book is available on Amazon or Barnes&Noble and can be shipped to your address.



Saturday, October 19th, 6:00 pm – Old Town Join Julie for drinks at the patio bar of The Cosmopolitan Hotel/Restaurant. You can plan your evening for afterward.


Sunday, October 20th, 12:00 – 2:00 pm – House of Sweden, Balboa Park In honor of Julie, the House of Sweden is giving a “fika” (coffee and cake) party and has invited all the international cottages. Spend the day with your family and enjoy a picnic on green grass five minutes away.


Monday, October 21st, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Barnes&Noble, Grossmont Center, La Mesa, California. You can also buy the book at Barnes&Noble, but then you haven’t read it.


Monday, October 21st, 6:00 pm – Casa de Pico, Grossmont Center  Enjoy friendship and food at one of San Diego’s finest restaurants. Please rsvp to Charlotte at See you there.



This powerful memoir traces Brazilian-born American Julie Lindahl's journey to uncover her grandparents' role in the Third Reich, as she is driven to understand how and why they became members of Hitler's elite, the SS. Out of the unbearable heart of the story - the unclaimed guilt that devours a family through the generations - emerges an unflinching will to learn the truth. 

In a remarkable six-year journey through Germany, Poland, Paraguay, and Brazil, Julie uncovers, among many other discoveries, that her grandfather had been a fanatic member of the SS since 1934. During World War II, he was responsible for enslavement and torture and complicit in murder of the local population on the large estates that he oversaw in occupied Poland, before fleeing to South America to evade a new wave of war-crimes trials. 

The pendulum used by Julie's grandmother to divine good from bad and true from false becomes a symbol for the elusiveness of truth and morality, but also for the false securities we cling to when we become unmoored from them. As Julie delves deeper into the abyss of her family's secret, discovering history anew, one precarious step at a time, the compassion of strangers is a growing force that transforms her world and the way that she sees her family - and herself.

©2018 Julie Lindahl