Nazi Germany: politics, society, war and genocide
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HEH24
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
What is the course about?
The twelve years of the Third Reich stand out in German and European history as a period of unsurpassed terror and devastation. Contemporaries asked themselves, and historians have ever since wrestled with the question of how a highly developed, highly cultured, modern nation could be turned into a totalitarian dictatorship at breakneck speed and support the project of creating a racial state that would lead to a war of conquest and extermination culminating in their complete and utter ruin. The answers have been many and varied, and students on this course will learn both about what happened and how it has been interpreted by different scholars.
What will we cover?
. Seizing power: the ‘co-ordination’ of state and society
2. Coercion: the construction of a police state
3. Inclusion: building the ‘national community’
4. Exclusion: the drive for ‘racial purity’
5. The dynamics of Nazi policy-making: working towards the Fuhrer
6. Responses: variants of consent and dissent
7. The road to war: Nazi foreign policy
8. Hitler’s Europe: occupation, collaboration and resistance
9. Genocide: unleashing the Holocaust
10. Facing apocalypse: Nazi Germany in 1944-5.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Have a clear understanding of the main features, leading personalities and development stages of the Third Reich;
• be able to express an informed view about the range and change of German attitudes to Nazism;
• be familiar with the choices available to, and made by, perpetrators, bystanders and victims;
• be aware of some major arguments and controversies concerning the history of Nazi Germany, the Second World War and the Holocaust.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is aimed at interested students of all backgrounds. No knowledge of German or any
other special skills set is required, but you will need to have access to a computer.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will take the form of ten two-hour sessions, combining lectures and interactive elements like source
interpretation and class discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs, and students need not bring anything to class apart from an open mind and a readiness to learn.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HEH47 Post war German history: 1945-1961.