Soc 178: The Holocaust 


The Nazis' deliberate murder of about 6,000,000 Jews for "racial" reasons and of millions of other Europeans for ethnic, political, religious, and social reasons challenges our view of human nature and social order, good and evil, and the concept of progress associated with the rise of modern Western civilization. This course will trace the history of the Holocaust and the catastrophic combination of discrimination and racism with general features of modernity that make genocide possible.

BOOKS:

Michael Berenbaum, The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Boston, Little Brown and Co., 1993.

Donald L. Niewyk, editor, The Holocaust, second edition, (Problems in European Civilization Series), Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Two short reports using documentary sources (2 x 25%) and a final examination (50%).

READING LIST:

September 30 (Thursday):
INTRODUCTION

October 5 (Tuesday):
WHAT IS GENOCIDE?

October 7 (Thursday):
JEWS IN A CHRISTIAN WORLD:
THE MIDDLE AGES, EMANCIPATION, AND MODERN ANTI-SEMITISM
Berenbaum, pp. 10-16.

October 12 (Tuesday):
GERMANY AND THE RISE OF THE NAZIS TO POWER
Berenbaum, pp. 16-20.

October 14 (Thursday):
RACIAL LAWS IN A RACIAL STATE: THE EXCLUSION OF THE JEWS
Berenbaum, pp. 21-35,39-43,54-56.

October 19 (Tuesday):
RACIAL HYGIENE: NAZISM'S MANY VICTIMS
Berenbaum, pp. 51-53,63-65.

October 21 (Thursday):
GHETTOES: THE CONCENTRATION OF THE JEWS
Berenbaum, pp.73-89.

October 26 (Tuesday):
Visit to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles (tentative date)

October 28 (Thursday):
THE COURSE OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Berenbaum, pp. 61-63.

November 2 (Tuesday):
"THE FINAL SOLUTION:" THE MOTIVES OF THE NAZI LEADERS
Berenbaum, pp. 44-47, 103-108.

Discussion: Intentions vs. Circumstances

Gerald Fleming, "It is the Führer's Wish," from his Hitler and the Final Solution,
Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984, in Niewyk, pp.12-26.

Hans Mommsen, "There Was No Führer Order," from his "The Realization of the Unthinkable," in Gerald Hirschfeld, editor, The Policies of Genocide: Jews and Soviet Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany, Boston, Allen & Unwin, 1986, in Newyk, pp. 27-38.

Christopher R. Browning, "A Product of Euphoria in Victory," from his Fateful Months: Essay on the Emergence of the Final Solution, NY, Holmes & Meier, 1985, in Niewyk, pp. 39-49.

November 4 (Thursday):
MOBILE KILLING SQUADS AND THE PERPETRATORS' MOTIVES:
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWS
Berenbaum, pp. 94-102, 119-143.

Discussion: Ordinary Men or Indoctrinated Germans?

Robert Jay Lifton, "The Nazi Doctors," from his The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Basic Books, 1986, in Niewyk, pp. 152-168.

Christopher R. Browning, "Ordinary Men," from his Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, New York, Harper Collins, 1992, in Niewyk, pp. 168-184.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, 'Hitler's Willing Executioners," from his Hitler's Willing Executions: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, NY, Knopf, 1996, in Niewyk, pp. 184-197.

November 9 (Tuesday): A Survivor Remembers (tentative date)

November 11 (Thursday):
EXTERMINATION and LABOR CAMPS: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWS
Berenbaum, pp. 112-117, 119-143, 145-153, 192-199.

November 16 (Tuesday):
Selections from the documentary movie "Shoah" by director Claude Lanzmann.

November 18 (Thursday):
THE VICTIMS: JEWISH RESPONSES

Discussion: Dehumanization or a Relative Morality?

Bruno Bettelheim, "Helpless Victims," from his Surviving and Other Essays, NY, Knopf, 1979, in Niewyk, pp. 54-59.

Terrence Des Pres, "The Will to Survive," from his The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps, NY, Oxford University Press, 1976, in Niewyk, pp. 59-66.

Richard Glazer, "Surviving Extermination Camp Treblinka," in Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness: From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder, London, Deutsch, 1974, in Niewyk, pp. 66-82.

Alexander Donat, "Surviving Slave Labor in Maidanek," from his The Holocaust Kingdom: A Memoir, NY, Holt, Rinehart, 1965, in Niewyk, pp. 83-105.

November 23 (Tuesday):
THE VICTIMS: ISSUES OF JEWISH RESISTANCE
Berenbaum, pp. 35-37, 90-94, 108-112, 117-119, 172-183.

Discussion: Were Jews Passive?

Raul Hilberg, "Two Thousand Years of Jewish Appeasement," from his The Destruction of the European Jews, Vol.3, NY, Holmes & Meier, 1985, in Niewyk, pp. 110-116.

Yehuda Bauer, "Forms of Jewish Resistance," from his The Jewish Emergence from Powerlessness, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1979, in Niewyk, pp. 116-132.

Isaiah Trunk, "Why the Jewish Councils Cooperated," from his Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation, NY, Macmillan, 1972, in Niewyk, pp. 133-147.



November 25 Thanksgiving Weekend

November 30 (Tuesday):
BYSTANDERS AND RESCUERS
Berenbaum, pp. 156-161, 164-171.

Discussion: Non-Jewish Collusion vs. Resistance.

Yisrael Gutman & Shmuel Krakowski, "The Poles Helped Persecute the Jews," from their Unequal Victims, NY, Holocaust Library, 1986, in Niewyk, pp. 203-215.

Richard C. Lukas, "The Poles Were Fellow Victims," from his The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944, Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, 1986, in Niewyk, pp. 215-229.

Ian Kershaw, "The German People and Genocide," from his Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich, Bavaria 1933-1945, NY, Oxford University Press, 1983, in Niewyk, pp. 229-241.

Michael R. Marrus & Robert O. Paxton, "Western Europeans and the Jews," from "The Nazis and the Jews in Occupied Western Europe, 1940-1044," Journal of Modern History, Vol. 54, No.4, 1982, in Niewyk, pp. 241-251.

December 2 (Thursday): A US Soldier Remembers. (tentative date)

December 7 (Tuesday):
WORLD RESPONSES
Berenbaum, pp. 48-50, 56-60, 144-145, 161-164.

Discussion: Were the Jews Abandoned?

David S. Wyman, "The Abandonment of the Jews," from his The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945, NY, Pantheon Books, 1984, in Niewyk, pp. 256-268.

Yehuda Bauer, "Negotiating for Jewish Lives," from his A History of the Holocaust, NY, F. Watts, 1982, in Niewyk, pp. 269-276.

Walter Laquer, "The Failure to Comprehend," in his A Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth About Hitler's "Final Solution," Boston, Little Brown & Co., 1980, in Niewyk pp. 277-291.

December 9 (Thursday):
TEACHING AND REMEMBERING
Berenbaum, pp. 183-191, 199-223.


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Cybrary of the Holocaust

A Shtetl: Jewish Gombin

 

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