Eva Maria Ziege
Explores the Holocaust as crucial event of the twentieth century. Examines the origins of the Holocaust, perpetrators and victims, and efforts to come to terms with this genocide in Europe, Israel, and the United States. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 269.
The Holocaust, the murder of six million European Jews by Germans in Nazi-occupied Europe, is a crucial historical event of the 20th century. This course examines the evolvement of genocide in Germany since 1933, the perpetrators, the victims and how it was described and interpreted after 1945. Students will explore the emergence of racism and antisemitism within German political culture and the sciences (eugenics, anthropology) before 1933 and the escalating dynamics of the racial state after 1933. Particular emphasis will be given to the widely differing groups that fell victim to the NS-State, other victims of ethnocentrism like the Sinti and Roma and black Germans, and persons or groups who were defined as disabled, homosexual or perceived in other ways as deviant from the norms of the authoritarian state. The aspect of gender will be explored with regard to all of these groups. Special emphasis will be given to the concentration camps and the death camps, the society behind the “Endlösung” (Final Solution) of genocide and to forms of resistance to Nazi terror. In addition to this students will examine how the German crimes were interpreted after 1945 by German and international observers, by victims who had survived the concentration camps, by refugees, and also by some of perpetrators themselves. This will involve a discussion of differing terms - Holocaust, Shoa - with regard to their significance for differing interpretations of the murder of the European Jews. Furthermore, the question of the singularity of the Holocaust in relation to other genocides will be explored with a particular view to new theories on a comparative perspective on genocides (colonial genocides, Armenia, Rwanda). Finally, the significance of the Nuremberg trials for the prosecution of crimes against humanity and international law will also be discussed.
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