STUDY GUIDE FOR FINAL EXAM
The final exam will take place from 4:00-6:00pm
on Tuesday, December 8, in HSSB 1174.
Be sure to bring a blue book. The exam is worth 40 points total.
I. Identify and define the significance (20 mins., 3 @ 4 points each)
On the final examination you will be given 5 of the following names/events/concepts from which you must select 3. The identification should include an approximate date, which need not be exact, but should situate the event correctly in relation to other important events. You should take special care to DEFINE THE SIGNIFICANCE of the term in the context of German history.
"Driving accident" thesis
Myth of Victimization
|Gastarbeiter (guest workers)
§218 (of the criminal code)
17 June 1953
4 (!) November 1989
II. Source Interpretation. (20 mins., 10 points)
You will be given a short quotation from a primary source in the course materials, which you should identify (put in context), and then interpret, revealing what it tells us about German history since 1945. Good answers will use comparisons to relate the quotation to issues raised in the course.
III. Essay question: You will
have to answer one of the following questions. (1 hour, 18 pts)
Study tip: make an outline for each! (Bring these to the last lecture, with your questions.)
1. Heinrich Böll's novel Billiards at Half-Past
Nine takes place in 1958. When the story
ends Joseph (b. 1936) and Ruth (b. 1939) are both undecided about their
future career paths. Using what we know of their personalities and experiences,
argue how they will react to and participate in historical events from
the 1960s to the 1990s (select 6 from at least 3 different decades). Consider
what role the "3 Myths" might have played in their decisions, and how their
individual values and experiences from their family histories might have
On the final pages of the novel, Böll has Heinrich say "Order is half of life-I wonder what's the other half?" Do they discover the "other half" of life?
What parties (if any) did they join? What about NPD or APO?
Frank Eigenfeld was born in 1943, the protagonists in "The Promise" in 1944, Ulrike Meinhof in 1934, the parents of the "Nasty Girl" in the 1930s, as were the children of the protagonist of "Fear eats the Soul."
How might they have felt about neo-Nazism in the 1960s, foreigners in the 1970s or 1990s?
What would Ruth have thought of the women's movement, Joseph about Kohl's national victims memorial, or about the Holocaust memorial planned for Berlin?
2. Both the Cold War (tensions between the two superpower blocs-or lack thereof, competition between the two Germanies) and various legacies of Nazism shaped the history of Germany since 1945. For six events from at least three different decades (from the 1940s to the 1990s), explain the role that each of the two factors played in that event. Be sure to consider both the more obvious political effects, and more subtle, longer-term consequences such as people's perceptions of and relationship to the political system ("political culture").
3. A number of developments led up to and shaped
the revolutionary "turn" in East German history in 1989-90. Select the
six you consider most important, explain what role they played, and argue
why they should be considered most significant in an explanation of the
demise of the GDR. These events may mark turning points, or they may be
typical of a certain phase. In either case, be sure to explain why you
classify them as you do.
Your choice of events is not limited to the realm of "high politics." If you think that "the personal" was also crucial, you can also choose events that were significant to individuals at a personal level, for example Eigenfeld, Wagner, …