Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
history masthead
Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2003

HIS 337N • Germany in the 20th Century-HON-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36535 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
GAR 5
CREW

Course Description

More than fifty years after the defeat of Nazism by the Allied Powers, the history of Germany in the twentieth century continues to exercise a peculiar fascination upon the imaginations, not only of professional historians, but of the general public. Films, books, plays and television series cultivate the mythology, if not the actual history, of the Nazi years. The fascination of the Nazi period is obvious. Even from our vantage point, the Nazi regime 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 significance it would otherwise have lacked. The danger resides in the temptation to view all of German history from the end of the nineteenth-century 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. New political and social systems were imposed upon the two halves of the divided Germany by the victors. The hostilities of the Cold War appeared to ensure a permanent division of Germany, which in 1961 assumed a compelling symbolic form, the Berlin Wall. But in 1989, the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revolutionized East Germany as well. The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany were once again joined together in one nation. What exactly this newest version of the German nation will look like in ten or twenty years is still unclear.

Texts

Mary Fullbrook, THE DIVIDED NATION Peter Fritzsche, GERMANS INTO NAZIS 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

back

bottom border