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Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

David Crew

Professor Ph.D., 1975, Cornell University

David Crew



Research interests

His current research and teaching interests include the history of popular culture and consumerism in twentieth-century Germany and Europe, the history and politics of memory, and the visual history of Germany in the twentieth century, with a specific focus upon photographic representations.

Courses taught

Twentieth Century Germany, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Germany since 1945. He has been a faculty member of the Normandy Scholar Program since 1993.

REE 335 • Germany In 20th Cen-Honors

45215 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as HIS 337N, LAH 350 )
show description

Course carries three flags: WR, GC, and EL.

Even from our vantage point at the end of this century, the Nazi period is still one of the most dramatic and destructive episodes in western European, indeed, in world history.  Nazism is synonymous with terror, concentration camps and mass murder.  Hitler’s war claimed the lives of tens of millions and left Europe in complete ruins.  The Nazis have therefore given twentieth-century germany a world-historical significane it would otherwise have lacked.  Whether we are looking at the Bismarckian, the Wilhelmine, or the Weimar periods, the central question -- the ‘German Problem’, as it has been termed -- is the same:  why was Germany unable to establish a viable, liberal-democratic and parliamentary society which would have prevented the triumph of Nazism?  The danger here resides in the temptation to view all of German history from about 1871 onwards as merely the pre-history of Nazism, thereby failing to deal with each period on its own terms.  And what about the years after 1945?  With the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, german history appears to have experienced a radical break.  The hostilities of the Cold War appeared to ensure a permanent division of Germany.  But in the last few years, the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have revolutionized East Germany as well.  The Berlin Wall is down, East and West Germany are once again joined together in one nation.  Economic crisis, unemployment, waves of violence and dramatic changes in immigration policy have begun to conjure up the ghosts of the Nazi past.  Even if Germany’s post-war democratic order is not fundamentally threatened, it is still clear that Germany has already begun to follow a quite different path than the one laid out for it after 1945.  Has the nature of the ‘German Problem’ changed fundamentally since 1945, or do recent events suggest that the old questions may once again be relevant?

Mary Fullbrook,The Divided Nation; Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front; Richard Bessel(ed), Life in the Third Reich; Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz, Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper

This course combines lectures and discussions of secondary readings as well as original historical documents(short selections) and contemporary visual materials such as photographs, newsreels, propaganda and election posters. The course assignments are designed to allow you to think and write about each of these different ways of gaining access to the German past.

There will be no formal mid-term or final exam. The writing requirements are:

(1)Two longer essay assignments (each 6-8 pages typewritten, each worth 30% of your final grade) which ask you to think critically about some of the major issues in twentieth century Germanhistory. The first assignment will deal with the period up to 1939. The second will focus on the period from 1939 to the present. Essay 1 will be due in mid-October. Essay 2 is due no later than the official exam date for this course.

(2)In addition to these two longer essay assignments, you will be asked to write one shorter essay (4-5 pages typewritten-worth 20% of the final grade) on any one of the books by Remarque, Bessel, Levi, or Schneider. This is not a book report. I will hand out specific questions on each of these books which you need to answer in your essays.

(3)Finally, you will be asked to write two  short (2-3 page) analyses of  visual evidence(photographs, propaganda, election posters, etc.) that I will include among the class materials, or  internet sites on twentieth century Germany that you yourself have found(each of these 2 assignments is worth 10% of the final grade).

REE 335 • Germany In 20th Cen-Honors

44690 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 0.128
(also listed as HIS 337N, LAH 350 )
show description

Description: Despite the many calamities it caused and experienced in the twentieth century, the German state has persisted into our present as a leader in European politics, economy and society and an important international actor. To understand why this would be the case, this course treats the history of Germany in the “long” twentieth century, that is, from the intermediate background of WWI and the establishment of a unified German Empire (1871) to the present. Class time will alternate between lecture and discussion of primary source readings. Topics to be covered include: German economy, geography, and demography; national unification; German colonialism; Wilhelmine society and culture; the social and political status of German Jewry; the background, causes, and experience of WWI; the failed Communist Revolution of 1919; the emergence and decline of the Weimar state; the economic crisis of the interwar years; Weimar culture; National Socialism and the Third Reich; the experience and effects of WWII; the Holocaust; the constitution of East and West German states, societies, and cultures; the “economic miracle”; the Cold War in Germany; 1968 and its social effects; the revolutions of 1989; reunification; the experience of non-Germans in Germany since 1945; and Germany in the European Union. Where possible we will consider these themes in global context. Throughout, emphasis will fall on the reading and interpretation of primary sources in English translation, including text, film, photographs, and music.

Possible readings (selections – please consult the instructor for the final reading list before purchasing any items):

Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday; Ernst Jünger, Storms of Steel; Erich Maria Remarque, The Road Back; Fritz Stern, Five Germanys I Have Known; Kaes et al., The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (selections); Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf; Peter Fritzsche,Germans into Nazis; Arthur Koestler, The God that Failed; J.M. Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace; Filip Müller,Eyewitness Auschwitz; Jana Hensel, After the Wall.

Probable grading scheme:

Map quiz=5%; Midterm 25%; Final exam 25%; Short paper 30%; other quizzes 15%.

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