UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133b Homepage > Winter 2009 syllabus

UCSB Hist 133 B, Winter 2009
German History, 1900-1945
TTh 11-12:15, Givetz 1112

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Wed. 1-3pm

German History, 1900-1945
Course Syllabus
(pdf print version)

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Schedule of Lectures
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Course Overview (back to top; jump down to schedule of lectures)

This course is designed for students with a general knowledge of European history in the 20th century.

We will investigate the main events in German history from the origins of World War I to the legacies of World War II. These include:

  • the revolution and counterrevolution that ended the First World War;
  • the crisis, stable and depression phases of the Weimar Republic;
  • Hitler's ascent to power;
  • life in Nazi Germany, and
  • key features of World War II and the Holocaust.

Your Contribution (Course Requirements) (back to top)

  1. I expect you to attend all classes. Why take a course if you don't make the effort to learn what it teaches? Lectures include images, discussion and information not available elsewhere. I will call roll until I learn your names. Participation counts for 5% of the course grade.
    If you wish to have an excused absence, including undocumented medical absences, you must inform me by e-mail or phone message before the class in question begins.
  2. Midterm--"8 questions." There will NOT be a formal midterm examination. Instead, you will be asked to write a short text (300 words) on simple questions about the assigned readings, roughly once each week. These eight questions will be announced in advance. They are worth 40% of the final grade. (This is a lot--and plays a large role in determining your final grade.)
    Make-up questions are only possible for absences excused prior to the start of class.
  3. Book essay. A proposal (1-2 pages), the paper itself (1800 words, 5-6 pages), and a corrected version. This paper is based primarily on one book, but requires some research. (A blue handout with details will be distributed later.) Our textbook pp. 231-241 offers a good selection of books.
    The proposal is due Thu., Jan. 22; the paper itself Tue., Feb. 17; and the corrected version Tuesday, Mar. 3, always at the beginning of class. Together they count for 5+20+5=30% of your final grade.
  4. A take-home final examination will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, and one essay question. It is worth 25%. A study guide will be available in advance.
    No-exam option: Students receiving a B+ or better on their paper draft may opt out of taking the final exam. If they want to opt for this, they must submit a corrected and augmented version by Thu., Feb. 26, for publication on the course web site. This web version must also include an about the author paragraph, a 60-word abstract and an annotated bibliography/linkography. The grade of this final version will count as the exam grade. Details will be available on a web option handout.
  5. Students with outstanding book essays will may present their papers orally for extra credit.
Grading: Participation:
8 questions:
Final exam / web option:
35% (5+25+5)
See the grading section on the course homepage for distributions from my past courses.
Late policy: Work submitted after 3:30pm on the due date will lose one point per day.

Required Books (also on reserve at the UCSB library)
(back to top)

  • Textbook: Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). DD256.5 B3916 2002 amazon $18
  • Graphic (auto)biography: Art Spiegelman, Maus, vols I & II (Pantheon, 1986, 1992).
  • Biography: Diane Ackermann, The Zookeeper's Wife (Norton, 2007). DS134.,64.A25 2007.
  • Additional readings: Will be made available on Eres, Gauchospace, or via weblinks.
  • Optional textbook: Mary Fulbrook, History of Germany 1918-2000: The Divided Nation (Blackwell, 2002). Ch. 2 and 3 are required (wk 2-3); library: www.netLibrary.com/urlapi.asp?action=summary&v=1&bookid=53374

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments (back to top)

Week 1

Jan. 6

Jan. 8


Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany, 1890-1914

post photo profile on Gauchospace
Start Maus

Week 2

Jan. 13

Jan. 15

Causes & Course of World War I, 1914-1918

Consequences of World War I; Maus discussion

Finish Maus
Bergen, preface
Fulbrook chap. 2 (eres)

Week 3

Jan. 20

Jan. 22

The Weimar Republic, 1919-1923    

The Weimar Republic, 1924-1929

Fulbrook, chap. 3 (eres)
Bergen,  chap. 1
Paper proposals due

Week 4

Jan. 27

Jan. 29

Hitler and the Nazi Ascent to Power, 1929-1933

The Concentration Camp System

Bergen, chap. 2

Bergen, chap. 3

Week 5

Feb. 3

Feb. 5

Life in 1930s Germany

Kristallnacht, November 1938

Bergen, chap. 4
Supplemental readings (web)
Bergen, chap. 5

Week 6

Feb. 10

Feb. 12

World War II, phase 1, 1939-1942

Discussion with two "living witnesses"

Bergen, chap. 6
Texts by Ursula Mahlendorf and
               Josie Martin (web/eres)

Week 7

Feb. 17

Feb. 19

Euthanasia and the Implementation of Genocide

World War II as total war, 1943-44

Book essays due, start of class

Bergen, chap. 7, start Zookeeper's

Week 8

Feb. 24

Feb. 26

Responses to War and Genocide; book discussion
          (discussion of film Valkyrie)
The Final Phase of World War II, 1944-45

Zookeeper's Wife, finish
Bergen, chap. 8
web option supplements due

Week 9

Mar. 3

Mar. 5

Human Behavior and Genocide

Legacies of the Holocaust

Revised essays due

Bergen, conclusion

Week 10



Special topics, possible student presentations

Concluding lecture

web essays due (e-mail)
final exam study guide
(corrected web essays+supplements)



Fri., 6pm: Final Examination due, hssb 4221


Plagiarism--presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including materials found on the web)-is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. It hurts the ones who commit it most of all, by cheating them out of an education. I will report offenses to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action. For more details, see the Plagiarism page on my web site.

Cell phones ringing in class are an annoyance and distraction for me and other students. If your phone rings during class, I will stop the lecture and answer your call myself. Needless to say, there should be no text-messaging during class. If you are expecting an emergency call, please let me know before class.

Students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and would like to discuss special academic accommodations, please contact me via e-mail or during my office hours..

syllabus prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Jan. 17, 2010, updated: /10
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