HIS 350L • Hitler/Holocaust/Ger Memory-W
Even from our increasingly distant vantage point, the Nazi regime is still one of the most 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. How have the two post-war Germanys and other western countries dealt with this legacy? How have changing patterns of "remembering" and "forgetting" about Hitler, Nazism and the Holocaust been shaped by post-1945 political and cultural history? And in what ways have post-war German identities been constructed and re-constructed, from 1945 to the present, with reference to the "past that will not pass away"? We will begin this course by looking at some recent approaches by professional historians to the history of Nazi Germany. We will then move from the academy to the broader political and popular cultures, examining changing discussions and representations of Hitler, Nazism and the Holocaust in oral history, in post-1945 official commemorative practices, such as monuments and museums, in photographs, in film, and in fiction.
This is a substantial writing component course. You will be required to write three critical essays(6-8 pages each) which analyze the problems posed by selected readings from the above assigned reading list(each of these three essays is worth 20% of your final grade). You are required to hand in rough drafts of each of these longer essays no less than 10 days before the due date for each assignment. In addition, you are required to write 2 short essays(3-4 pages in length)each of which will analyze examples of the visual materials I will hand out in class or a film relevant to this course(to be approved by the instructor). Each of these assignments counts for 10% of your final grade. Class participation counts for 20 per cent of your final grade.
The following books are required reading for this course and have been ordered at the bookstores: David Crew, editor, Nazism and German Society, 1933-1945 Omer Bartov,editor,The Holocaust.Origins,Implementation, Aftermath Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz Lisa Fittko, Escape Through the Pyrenees Mark Roseman, A Past in Hiding Lawrence L. Langer, Holocaust Testimonies. The Ruins of Memory James Edward Young, The texture of memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning Robert Abzug, Inside the Vicious Heart Yosefa Loshitzky,editor, Spielberg's Holocaust: Critical Perspectives Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces Gunter Grass, Crabwalk