HIS 337N • Germany in 20th Cent-Hon-W
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Hitler and the Nazis have given twentieth-century Germany a world-historical significance it would otherwise have lacked. 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 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. 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. How does the unification of East and West Germany affect Germany's future role in Europe and the world?
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