The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe today. This course provides an overview of the history of the Holocaust and its memory after 1945.
The Holocaust is the paradigmatic event of twentieth-century European history, continuing to shape the politics and culture of Europe today. This course provides an overview of the history of the Holocaust and its memory after 1945. The first part of this course familiarizes students with the history of the Holocaust--that is, the course of events, their origin, and context. Major themes include: the rise of National Socialism in Germany; the persecution of Jews and so-called “other” victims (including, Roma and Sinti, “euthanasia” victims, and gay men); and, most crucially, the relationship between World War II and the emergence the Camp System in Eastern Europe. Through readings of sources from Jewish and non-Jewish victims, Nazi elites, functionaries, and soldiers, as well as local collaborators and bystanders, students will learn to analyze primary source material and to consider a variety of historical perspectives.
The second component of the course deals with the memory of the Holocaust after 1945. Through discussions of literature, films, and memorials, students will learn about how the Holocaust has been represented by Jews and non-Jews in Europe. In particular, this course focuses on the emergence of a bifurcated memory in Eastern and Western Europe during the Cold War. Students will look at the emergence, transformation, and legacies of the Cold War-era narratives of National Socialism and the genocide of Jews. The course culminates with a creative project: students will have the opportunity to work together to make their own proposals for a Holocaust memorial or an educational tool based on our readings and discussions.
Upon completion of this course, students will:
-have foundational knowledge about the history of the Holocaust, with particular knowledge about: the rise of National Socialism, the persecution of Jews and “other” victims, and relationship between war and genocide
-be able to analyze and integrate a variety of primary source types in order to better understand the historical context
-understand the role that the Cold War played in shaping Holocaust memories and memorialization in Europe
-read literature, film, and memorials as historical sources
-be prepared for college-level discussions of primary source materials
Prerequisites: No prerequisites.