21H.447 | Fall 2004 | Undergraduate

Nazi Germany and the Holocaust


View readings by class session

Note: Wherever possible, the book citations below reflect the specific editions used in the course.

Books for Purchase

Fallada, Hans. Little Man, What Now? Chicago, IL: Academy Chicago Publishers, 2009. ISBN: 9781933633640. (Kleiner Mann, was nun?)

Allen, William S. The Nazi Seizure of Power. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1989. ISBN: 0140228780.

Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz. New York, NY: Summit Books, 1986. ISBN: 9780671605414.

Browning, Christopher. Ordinary Men. Reinbek bei Hamburg, Germany: Rowohlt, 1993. ISBN: 3498005693.

Fabri, Friedrich. “Bedarf Deutschland des Colonien?/Does Germany Need Colonies?” In Studies in German Thought and History. Edited and translated by E. C. M. Breuning, and M. E. Chamberlain. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998, pp. 2-177, 179, and 181. ISBN: 9780773483712.

Jünger, Ernst. Storms of Steel. Translated by B. Creighton. New York, NY: Howard Fertig, 1975, pp. 300-319. ISBN: 0865273103. (excerpt)

Remarque, Erich Maria. Chapter 4 in All Quiet on the Western Front. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1987. ISBN: 9780449213940. (excerpt)

Fest, Joachim. The Face of the Third Reicht. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780306809156. (excerpt)

Nenno, Nancy. “Femininity, the Primitive, and Modern Urban Space: Josephine Baker in Berlin.” In Women in the Metropolis. Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture. Edited by Katharina Van Ankum. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997, pp. 145-161. ISBN: 9780520204652.

Kershaw, Ian. The “Hitler Myth”. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780192802064.

Koonz, Claudia. Mothers in the Fatherlandt. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1988. ISBN: 9780312022563. (excerpt)

Peukert, Detlev. “The Genesis of the Final Solution from the Spirit of Science.” In Nazism and German Society. Edited by David Crew. New York, NY: Routledge, 1994. ISBN: 9780415082402.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. Hitler and Nazi Germany: a History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. ISBN: 9780139759963.

Readings by Class Session

Week 1
1 Introduction to Class and Requirements: What is “Fascism”?, What is “Nazism”?  
Week 2

  • Imperial Germany and the First World War
  • Discussion
  • Fabri, Friedrich. Short excerpt from Does Germany Need Colonies?

3 Total War and Total (?) Defeat  
Week 3

  • Revolution and the Weimar Constitution
  • Discussion
  • Remarque, Jünger. “Letters from the Front and Home Front”


  • The Treaty of Versailles
  • Economic Shock
  • Paramilitary Politics

Week 4
6 Recovery, and Weimar Culture I: Art and the Avant-Garde (Visual Presentation)

  • Fest. The Face of the Third Reich. pp. 1-14 (Hitler), 15-26.
  • Kershaw. Hitler Myth. pp. 14-24.

Weimar Culture II: The New Woman

Berghaus, Gunter. “Girlkultur: Feminism, Americanism, and Popular Entertainment in Weimar Germany.” Journal of Design History (1988).
Nenno, Nancy. “Feminity, the Primitive, and Modern Urban Space: Josephine Baker in Berlin.”

Week 5
8 Film: The Blue Angel (Die Blaue Engel) (1930, 107 min.)  
9 Countercurrents: Anti-Semitism, Völkisch nationalism (and the Origins of the Nazi Party) Fest. The Face of the Third Reich. pp. 15-26. (Hitler)
Week 6
10 Discussion

Fallada, Hans. _Little Man, What Now?_1933.

Week 7
11 The Great Depression and the Polarization of Politics  
12 Discussion

Allen, William S. The Nazi Seizure of Power.

Week 8
13 The Nazi Seizure of Power and Gleichschaltung Fest. The Face of the Third Reich. pp. 27-38. (Hitler)

National Socialist Propaganda and Aesthetics: The New Mass Media

Film: Excerpts from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and Olympia


The films of Leni Riefenstahl
Fest, Joachim. The Face of the Third Reich. (Goebbels)

Week 9
15 Discussion

Allen. Nazi Seizure of Power.

16 The Racial State

  • Nuremberg Laws (September 1935)
  • Peukert, Detlev. “The Genesis of the ‘Final Solution’ from the Spirit of Science.”
Week 10
17 The Rise of the SS State, and Everyday Life under Nazism  
18 Outbreak of the Second World War Fest. pp. 62-67. (Hitler)
Week 11
19 The Course of the War, and the Eastern Front Begin reading Browning. Ordinary Men.

Origins of the “Final Solution” and the Machinery of Mass Murder

Film Excerpt from Die Ewige Jüde


Report of Einsatzgruppe C (1941)
Minutes of the Wannsee Conference (1942)

Week 12


Browning. Ordinary Men.

Fest, Joachim. The Face of the Third Reich. (Höss)

22 Meeting with Instructor: Review of “Der Brand” (Strategic Bombing) Read Primo Levi. Survival in Auschwitz.
Week 13

The Defeat of Germany and Götterdammerung


Allen. The Nazi Seizure of Power.
Fest, Joachim. The Face of the Third Reich.

24 “Zero Hour” and Denazification  
Week 14

Film: Germany Year Zero. (1947, 78 minutes)

or Somewhere in Berlin (Irgendwo in Berlin) (1946, DEFA), 79 minutes.


Discussion of Film

The Legacy of Nazism in History, Memory and Myth

Week 15
  Final Exam  

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004