In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews. The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore the fate of persecuted non-Jewish groups under Nazism, survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.
This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject. We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer, Christopher Browning, and Alon Confino, contemporary documents, and memoirs. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.