Nazism and the Holocaust have cast a long shadow over German history, both coloring our understanding of German history before 1933 and shaping the political, social, and cultural developments in Germany (and the two Germanies) since 1945. Over the course of the semester, we examined the significance of the Nazi era in modern German history, exploring the origins of National Socialism, the Nazi rise to power in the context of the Weimar Republic, National Socialist ideology, the relationships between state and party and between state and society, the nature of everyday life in Nazi Germany, the experiences of a variety of different groups under Nazi rule, the persecution of Jews and other minorities, the use of terror, and the dynamics of war and genocide. We also examined how Germans themselves have grappled with the history of Nazi Germany — a process known as Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the working through and coming to terms with the past — by analyzing how Germans have dealt with the public history and memorialization of the Nazi era. With the support of the global immersion courses program in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, we traveled to Berlin over Spring Break (March 2019), where we visited a variety of museums and memorials to see how Germans have grappled with this difficult past (for more information about the trip, click here).
This website includes a timeline created by the students in the class using Timeline JS and a research blog, where students posted essays about their individual research topics. Click here to view the syllabus for the course. Please contact Professor Elizabeth Drummond with any questions about the course or this website.