The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: miscellany/curriculum/curric.misc

Richard S. Levy
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of History

History 114 -- Understanding the Holocaust

This course will attempt 
to place the Holocaust of European Jewry into historical perspective.  
Through the reading of primary and secondary sources, films, and lectures, 
the student will confront a painful, emotionally-charged subject matter.  
Sympathy for the victims, anger toward the perpetrators, or a wish to 
withdraw from one of the more horrific pages of human history are all 
natural reactions, but I remind those embarking on this course that our 
objective is and must be rational understanding--the only valid purpose 
for the study of history. 

Assigned books:  
Donald Niewyk, THE HOLOCAUST 
(D.C.Heath)Michael Marrus, The HOLOCAUST IN HISTORY (University Press of 

Week 1: Introductory lectures. Scope, definitions, problems, 
General Text: Marrus, pp. 
1-30 Discussion: Levy, 1-27 

Week 2: Antisemitism in History
Discussion: Levy, 31-93 (quiz)
Film: The Longest Hatred 

Week 3: Antisemitism--Political function
Discussion: Levy, 97-144

Week 4: Antisemitism--Diffusion
Discussion: Levy 147-99 (quiz)

Week 5: Germany, 1871-1933
Film: Mein Kampf
Book Review no. 1 due

Week 6: Hitler and the Jews
Discussion: Levy, 203-23 (quiz)

Week 7: Nazi Germany
Film: Triumph of the Will

Week 8: Nazi Jewish Policy--the "twisted road to Auschwitz"
Marrus, 31-54

Week 9: Interpretations of the Holocaust
Discussion: Niewyk, 9-53 (quiz)

Week 10: Systematizing the Final Solution
Film: The Wannsee Conference; Levy, 252-58
Book Review no. 2 due

Week 11: The Holocaust in Western Europe
Marrus, 55-83; 
Levy, 224-34; 
Niewyk, 58-63

Week 12: The Holocaust in Eastern Europe 
Film: Zegota 
Levy, 235-49; Niewyk, 70-109; Marrus, 108-32

Week 13: Resistance and Rescue
Marrus, 133-55
Film: Weapons of the Spirit
Niewyk, 111-59, 213-63

Week 14: Non-Resistance
Marrus, 84-107, 156-83
Niewyk, 161-211 (quiz)

Week 15: The Holocaust and the crisis in human behavior
Marrus, 184-202

Week 16: Book Review no. 3 due

Course requirements:  3 4-6pp book reviews chosen from the appended
bibliography will account for 75% of the final grade.  

Quizzes and class participation will constitute the remaining 25% of the 

Note:  this course is aimed at first and second year students from 
a great variety of majors.  It fills a humanities requirement of 
the University of Illinois at Chicago.

History 114--Understanding the Holocaust

                          THE HOLOCAUST

Purpose: This course introduces students to the historical
problems associated with Nazi Germany's systematic mass murder of
Europe's Jews between 1933 and 1945.  These problems include the
origins of anti-semitism; the development of Germanic, National
Socialist, and Social Darwinist ideologies; the origins of Nazi
racial policies in the 1930s; Nazi eugenics and euthanasia
campaigns; the war of annihilation waged against Jews under
Germany's control during World War II; the mass murders of other
groups during the war; Jewish resistance to the Holocaust; and
the help or lack thereof offered by non-Jews to mitigate the
     Class time will consist of lectures, discussions, and video
     The choice of material presented in the course presupposes
students have satisfactorily completed the second half of the
Western civilization survey.
     The course will be very intellectually and emotionally
demanding; but the reward will be great and you will never forget
this experience.

Office Hours: My office hours are Monday through Thursday from 12
noon to 1:00 p.m.  In addition, students should feel free to ask
me for an appointment, to call me at home or the office (numbers
above), or to drop by and try to catch me outside office hours.
     Please do not wait until catastrophes strike before phoning
or coming to see me outside of class.  You may also talk with me
about the course or anything else you like even when things are
going well.

Required Books: Students should purchase the four required texts.

     Yehuda Bauer, A History of the Holocaust.
     Thomas Keneally, Schindler's List.
     Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz.
     Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness.

Grades: Your grade will be determined according to the following

     4 reading and map quizzes (average of the 4 scores)    30%
     One-page reaction essays                               20%
     Term paper                                             20%
     Final exam                                             30%

A passing grade on the final exam (D- or better) is required in
order to pass the course.  No extra credit assignments will be allowed.

Reading and Map Quizzes: Four brief (15-minute) quizzes will be
given in order to insure students have completed and understood
the required reading and can locate places important in the
Holocaust on an outline map of Europe.  The map quiz will be
given the second week of class; a score of 85 or better is
required in order to pass the course, although the exam may be
retaken until this score is achieved (if taken more than once,
map quiz scores will be averaged).  The dates of the quizzes and
further information will be given verbally in class.

One-Page Reaction Essays: Each time the class watches a video
presentation or completes discussion of the outside readings, a
one-page reaction essay (handwritten is acceptable) will be due
on a date shortly thereafter.  These dates will be announced
verbally in class.

Term Paper: Each student will submit a typewritten paper of
between 1,250 and 2,500 words (5-10 pages, double-spaced).  The
paper will be due on Tuesday, May 24, 1994, by 4:30 p.m.  The
paper will require students to write a first-person narrative of
the experiences of a European Jew between 1933 and 1945.  Further
details will be given soon on a separate handout.

Final Exam: A two-hour essay exam will be given on Friday, June
3, 1994, at 10:00 a.m. in our regular classroom.  The exam will
consist solely of essay questions, and it will cover all class
presentations and readings (that means it's comprehensive).

Attendance and Make-Ups: The University Bulletin puts it the
best: "An individual student is responsible for attending the
classes in which the student is officially enrolled.  The quality
of work will ordinarily suffer from excessive absences."
     Students who miss a reading quiz or paper deadline and
expect to make it up should present written proof of extreme and
unavoidable circumstances compelling the student's absence at the
specific time of the exam.  Such excuses have a better chance of
being accepted if you call me before you miss the quiz in
question or turn in a paper late.  If in doubt, call.  I'll be
glad to hear from you.

Honesty: All the work you do in this course should be the product
of your own studying and thinking.  Reaction essays should be
solely your personal reaction to the work in question and should
not rely on any other written source.  For the reading quizzes,
students may use only the knowledge in their heads.  For the term
paper, students are to use only those sources permitted by the
separate assignment sheet to be distributed soon; but you may
have someone else proofread your term paper to insure it is free
of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors.
     I don't expect to have to do this, but I do reserve the
right to award an F for the entire course to any students who do
not comply with these standards.  Once again, if in doubt, call.
I'll always be glad to hear from you.

Warning: Any information on this syllabus may be superseded by
verbal announcements in class.  Please be here every day!

Class Outline, Quiz and Exam Schedule, and Reading Assignments:

1. Anti-Semitism and Nazism:
     European Jews and Christians, 29 AD to 1933
     Germanic Ideology
     Social Darwinism
     National Socialist Ideology

2. Nazi Racial Policies, 1933-1941
     Anti-semitism: Exclusion, Expropriation, Expulsion

     Read Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness

3. Annihilation, 1941-1945

     Murder Squads (Einsatzgruppen)
     The "Final Solution"
     Death Camps, Gas Vans, and Gas Chambers

4. Life and Death for Europe's Jews
     Europe's Jews under Nazi rule
     Ghettos and Jewish Councils
     Surviving the Death Camps

     Read Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz

5. Jewish Resistance

6. Bystanders and Rescuers
     Western European governments
     The Poles
     The Allies Stand By

     Read Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List

7. Genocide vs. Holocaust: Poles, Gypsies, Russian POWs

8. Reckoning
     War crimes trials, denazification, reparations

PHL 349, The Holocaust as a Case Study in Social Ethics

Fall 1994

Instructor: Warren Thompson

This is a "writing intensive" and "disciplinary perspectives " course.
There will be some informal lecturing, especially at the beginning of the
term, but the chief emphasis will be on discussion and writing. There also
will be some small-group work and use of video material.




	Peter J. Haas. MORALITY AFTER AUSCHWITZ. Fortress Press, 1989.


	Primo Levi. SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ. Collier/Macmillan, 1985.

	Alan Rosenberg & Gerald E. Myers, eds. ECHOES FROM THE HOLOCAUST:

Writing Requirements and Examinations:

	-- Three five-page commentaries or a 15-page paper.

	-- Two open-book essay examinations.


	The purpose of this course is to examine the major social and personal
ethical issues raised by Nazi Germany's ENDLOESUNG DER JUDENFRAGE. The
subject-matter of PHL 349 is trans-disciplinary: it looks at the Holocaust by
means of both philosophical and applied ethics and from within the context of
the social sciences, especially history and sociology. This course aims at
helping students gain two major objectives:

	1. A close familiarity with the historical reality of the Final

	2. A grasp of how the ethical and social issues raised through study
of the Holocaust are relevant to contemporary society, especially the
disturbing home truth that ordinary, normal mena and women are fully capable
of perpetrating great evil.

-- Warren Thompson
Dept of Religion & Philosophy
Annville PA 17003

History 387
The Holocaust

Required Texts
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann In Jerusalem
Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader
Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust
Joachim Fest, The Face of the Third Reich
Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews
Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
Richard Rubenstein, The Cunning of History
Elie Wiesel, Night
Course Pack, Charlotte Delbo, None of Us Shall Return
Oral History Interviews, UM-D Library


July 5--Introduction; reading and writing about the Holocaust
July 7--Gilbert, 17-49; Hilberg, 1-38; Holocaust Reader (HR), 1-
     21, 35-53
July 12--Gilbert, 50-118; Hilberg, 39-96; HR, 143-170; Fest, 3-67
July 14--Gilbert, 137-251; HR, 235-287; Hilberg, 99-153;
July 19--Gilbert, 280-352; Fest, 98-124; HR, 55-140, Film, "The
Lodz Ghetto"   SHORT PAPER DUE
July 21--Fest, 187-219; *Hilberg, 157-238; MICROTHEME
July 26--Wiesel, Night; SHORT PAPER DUE
August 2--Hilberg, 238-259; Gilbert, 375-418; Serenyi, 13-142
August 4--Serenyi, 145-367; Gilbert, 466-525; Fest, 198-219;
August 9--Arendt, 3-150  SHORT PAPER DUE
August 11--Arendt, 151-298; Fest, 276-287; MICROTHEME
August 16--Hilberg, 263-293; Fest, 291-307; Rubenstein
August 18--Rubenstein; Gilbert, 707-828; Hilberg, 293-331;  Summing

Videotaped and audiotaped interviews of victims of the Holocaust
who survived are on reserve in the library.  Each student is
required to view at least two video interviews (I urge you to
listen to one or more of the audiotapes, as well).  They are to be
considered required texts for the course and will be dealt with in
the  microthemes (see below), at least one short paper and on the
final exam.

This course attempts to deal with some of the most difficult
questions of the twentieth century.  There are few aspects of the
Holocaust without controversy: was the annihilation of the Jews
planned from 1933? or from 1920 or 1923, in Hitler's mind? Did it
evolve over the years, growing in intensity through the 1930's and
then become entwined with the war?  Was it not conceived until
1941? or 1939?  Were all the murderers Nazis?  Was the Holocaust
another in a series of pogroms that span millennia?  Is this
genocide different from others--the Armenian, Cambodian, Ebo,
native American, African American or Bosnian?  Did most of Europe
know what was happening or was the genocide a successfully kept
secret until the end of the war?  Was the Holocaust a function of
World War II or incidental to it?  Were civilians involved in the
murders?  Was the army?  Or was it primarily the Nazi SS and
affiliates?  Did the Jews resist or didn't they?  Did they somehow
collaborate in their own destruction?  What were the motives behind
the perpetrators?  Who were they?  Were they insane racists?  Or
were they normal, average citizens?  Some of these questions are
historical or psychological, or sociological, ethical or economic,
political or moral.  They are highly complex, not simple.  Perhaps
the worst that can occur in such a course is drawing simple
conclusions or assuming simplistic answers.  Few events are more
complicated, confounding or baffling than this one.  If nothing
else, you should recognize the mistake of "terrible simplification"
regarding the Holocaust.
The questions above, and countless others, arise at once when
considering the history of the Holocaust.  Perhaps the only
question that is not at issue is the reality of that event--how
and why are legitimate, perplexing and critical questions to be
discussed or argued.  "If" simply is not a legitimate question.

The course will examine primarily the perpetrators but also the
victims.  To appreciate one demands knowledge of the other.  Our
consideration of the victims will include interviews with victims
of the Holocaust who survived and have offered their testimony on
audio and videotape.  One of the functions of these tapes is their
personalization of the historical event, the combining of history
(lower case) with History (upper case) which humanizes and makes
the event more real and immediate.  With the echoes of those
testimonies, we will try to consider the perpetrators--not so much
the leadership, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and their henchmen, but
the multitude of others, across the European continent, who became
involved in one way or another with the process of destruction.

Finally, there is virtually nothing uplifting or good that comes
from the Holocaust.  Its study is unrelieved in gloom and sadness.
It is difficult to learn about and difficult to teach.  (If you
leave the classroom feeling good, I've made some error along the
way.)  As difficult as it may be, this history remains a part of
the western tradition, part of our legacy and therefore of our own
past and present.

There will be several short papers and "microtheme" assignments
and a final take-home essay exam.  The short papers should be ca.
2-3 typed pages; a "microtheme" is an essay "short enough to be
typed on a note card," that is, no more than 250-300 words.  As
you will hear regularly, the essays should be relatively literate,
i.e. sentences ought to have verbs and form logical paragraphs.
The microthemes will be focused on the survivor interviews.  For
each microtheme assignment, students will isolate one statement in
an interview and in 250-300 words summarize what theme the
statement represents in that particular interview.  (The
microthemes should be short enough for a note card, but typed on
a sheet of paper.)

The short papers will evolve along with the course: each paper will
examine a particular aspect of a topic or issue presented in a
particular text.  Assignments will be handed out the week before
the papers are due.

Finally, I would like each of you to keep a reading log or journal.
Write any confusing, puzzling, controversial or what you consider
critical statements from the texts on the left side of the journal.
On the right side, discuss the copied material as freely as you
like--I will not grade it--with no constraints regarding form,
style or content.  These will be collected at the end of the
semester and the course will not be complete without a log.  Again,
they will not be graded, but they should serve as stimulii to
thought and/or discussion or help resolve difficulties with the

History 497
The Study of the Holocaust

Required Texts

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann In Jerusalem
Barzun and Graf, The Modern Researcher
Lucy Dawidowicz, The Holocaust and the Historians
Francois Furet, ed., Unanswered Questions
Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews
Michael Marrus, The Holocaust In History
Judith Miller, One, By One, By One
Elie Wiesel, Night
UM-Dearborn Survivor Oral History Collection

Graham Swift began his haunting novel about history, Waterland,
with an Oxford Dictionary definition of history:
     Historia, -ae, f. I. inquiry, investigation, learning.
     2. a) a narrative of past events, history. b) any kind ofnarrative:
 account, tale, story.

Not myth or saga, fairy tale or legend, history nevertheless may
contain elements of each or all these narrative genres.  The
primary definition involves asking questions; the two definitions
together imply asking questions about stories of the past in order
to learn from them.  Unlike other modes of literature, however,
there may be no clear answers, no lessons (obvious or obscure), no
morals or clearly defined endings.  In one view, then, the
questions remain the most significant aspect of history, more
significant than possible answers, theories or other sorts of

Virtually all histories contain controversy.  Although one might
suspect that the history of the Holocaust, the murder of Europe's
Jews during the Nazi domination of Europe, would escape most
historical controversies, a brief examination reveals exactly the
opposite case.  Disagreements explode, beginning with the term
"Holocaust," a word derived from the Greek translation of a term
in the Hebrew Bible which means "total burning."  In the Bible,
the term refers to the sacrifice of a lamb to God, a religious
offering.  Should the systematic murder of more than five million
people be considered a religious issue?  A sacrifice to God?  Were
the victims martyrs?  Were they all religious?  Even in the midst
of this discussion, other questions arise: shouldn't we refer to
"the six million"?  Are the numbers important?  Should we include
the murdered Gypsies (Romani) and other victims of the Nazis?
Should we only see them as victims of the Nazis or should we say
the Germans?  Should we only indict the Germans or should we also
include the active collaborators of virtually every country (with
the exception of Denmark) on the European continent?  Should we
date the beginning of the Holocaust from 1933 or should we place
it later, when systematic killing began--perhaps in 1939 or 1941
or 1942?

If you now reread the second sentence of the last paragraph, the
brief definition of the term "Holocaust" may take on different
meanings: "the murder of Europe's Jews during the Nazi domination
of Europe."  Innuendoes and questions lurk beneath the surface of
the text: when, how, who, how many, where are all questions to be
addressed at various levels.  The subject carries burdens of guilt,
discomfort, horror and deep emotional disturbance.  These
contribute to the difficulties involved in historical analysis.
It sis untrue, however, that the subject is somehow unknowable,
ineffable or arcane.  At the very least a historian can examine
the epoch as the implementation of a state-ordained policy of
murder which incorporated wide varieties of technology, manpower,
ideology and bureaucracies.  (To return to the earlier discussion,
a secular rather than religious undertaking.)  All this does not
consider the specious arguments which contend that the Holocaust
did not occur.  We will consider those arguments at the end of the

As with most subjects examined by historians, nothing is simple
about the Holocaust.  (Those of you who have read Waterland may
recall the multiple levels of thought and experience which form a
sort of intellectual-spiritual swampy marsh to reflect the physical
one.)  No text is only what it seems, although Holocaust writing
demands a confrontation with the literal unprecedented in the
history of literature.  We will examine different genres of inquiry
about the Holocaust: a variety of historical approaches; a
"fictional" novel (Night); oral histories; and some sociological
strategies.  We will, in short, consider private and public sources
in different ways.  The primary goal will be to raise questions
about the history and about the texts: questions about technique,
theory, genre and content.


Each student will be required to write a 2-3 page essay on each of
the texts.  The papers should not be synopses, but should raise
meaningful questions about the works.  We will discuss the papers
which then will serve as entrees into discussion of the texts and
the subjects they explore.  In most cases the papers will address
aspects of each text which we may outline the week previous to the
assignment.  This will hold especially for the two weeks in which
we discuss oral histories, when each student will be required to
listen to and/or view different interviews on reserve in the
library.  Those works for which papers will be required are
followed by an asterisk in the schedule.  These short essays will
account for ca. 60% of your grade and I will look for progress from
one to the next.

A 7-10 page paper on one of the topics discussed in the course will
be due on the last class.  These papers will account for ca. 40%
of your grade.

Barzun and Graf, The Modern Researcher, remains among the most
comprehensive practical works on how to research, think about and
write an essay of historical inquiry.  While we will not discuss
this book in class (at least not systematically or formally), it
ought to be read thoroughly and used to help in the writing of
every assignment.  You will undoubtedly hear me repeat ad nauseam
(for you and for me) such cliches as "writing is rewriting," and
"work from the text."  We should work together to produce clear,
concise prose, coherent and thoughtful essays.  Although these
qualities are desirable in any course, they seem to me to be
especially important in light of the subject matter of this one.

Thoughtful discussion and dialogue are the lifeblood of a seminar
and I encourage you to participate.  I suspect we will get to know
each other reasonable well, brought together by the subject, the
texts and questions.  But no one will be forced to speak,
especially on a subject where silence (as will become apparent
later) has played such a significant role.  I hope that everyone
will feel comfortable enough to contribute to the discussion, and
those who do, who offer informed comments and provocative
questions, will receive appropriate credit, that is, your grades
will be raised accordingly.

Attendance is imperative.


January 6:     Introduction
January 13:    Marrus, The Holocaust In History *
January 20:    Furet, Unanswered Questions, 3-70, 84-118
January 27:    Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews *
February 3:    Furet, 119-171; 235-251
February 10:   Wiesel, Night*; Furet, 199-234
February 17:   Discussion of literary-historical genres
March 3:       Dawidowicz, The Holocaust and the Historians *
March 10:      Oral Histories*
March 17:      Oral Histories
March 24:      Judith Miller, One, By One, By One *
March 31:      Arendt, Eichmann In Jerusalem,*
April 7:       Arendt,       ; Furet, 252-274
April 14:      Furet, 304-319*; Summary


I teach a course in Literature of the Holocaust.  This is my most recent
rendition --I change it each year.  H. Ravven, Religious Studies, Hamilton
College, Clinton, NY (



        Week 1   September 9
                 In class films:  "Night and Fog" and "Ambulance"

        Week 2   September 16  ROSH HASHANAH -- No formal class but film

                 will be shown in Root 205.
                 Art Spiegelman, Maus I
                 In class film, "Au Revoir Les Enfants" (See in class or A/V)

        Week 3   September 23
                 Maus II

REQUIRED LECTURES:  *Monday, September 27, 8:30 PM Chapel, Franklin
Littell, world renowned scholar, will speak on A Christian Concern
for the Holocaust,

        *Monday, 4:15 Film and Roundtable Discussion, Assembly Room, Bristol
        *Tuesday, Sept. 28th, 8AM, Breakfast discussion, Backus Houe

        Week 4   September 30
                 Aharon Appelfeld, Badenheim 1939

        Week 5   October 7
                 Carol Rittner and John K. Roth, eds., Different Voices:
                 Women and the Holocaust  (pp. 40 -148)

        Week 6   October 14
                 Heinz Heger, The Men with the Pink Triangle
                 In class film:  "Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz"

        %First Paper due:  Monday, October 18th by 4 PM in Root 116.

        Week 7  October 21
                Primo Levi, If Not Now, When? (first half)
                Magda Trocme, chapter 19 in Different Voices, pp. 309-316
                In class film:  "Weapons of the Spirit"

        Week 8  October 28
                If N to eat dinner one night with the members of a different
                group.  One group will be the perpetrators and the other the
                victims.  The perpetrators will control exactly what and how
                the victims eat, when they're punished, e.g., by denying them
                food, how long they sit at dinner, etc.  You may want to have
                each perpetrator directly responsible for a specific victim.
                You may want a hierarchy among perpetrators and the
                perpetrators may want to set up a hierarchy among the victims.
                Get together before the dinner to plan how your group will

        Week 13 December 9
                (in groups) bring in examples of and discuss cases of genocide
                other than the Nazi war against the Jews.

Holocaust Literature In Class Films

"Night and Fog"
"Au Revoir Les Enfants"
"Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz"
"Weapons of the Spirit"
"The Legacy:  Children of Holocaust Survivors"
"Triumph of the Will" (16 mm)
"Wannsee Conference"
"The Nasty Girl"

All of these are to be on Reserve in the A/V Library.
1.  Conscientious class attendance.

2.  Successful completion of two pa disabled, the Cambodian genocide

                Class participation & weekly responses  40 %

                Papers                          40 %
                2 Group Projects        20 %

Following is the syllabus for TOPICS IN EUROPEAN HISTORY: THE HOLOCAUST,
a graduate-level course I took this spring, taught by Eric Epstein.  I have
his permission to share it with HOLOCAUS subscribers.  This syllabus differs
from others in its utilization of primary sources--Holocaust survivors,
Christian protectors, American GIs, etc.--as speakers to the class.

If anyone wishes to communicate with Eric Epstein, electronic missives may
be sent via


The class ran 18 January through 3 May 1994 and met one evening a week, from
6:00 to 9:00 P.M.

*Objectives:  The systematic mass murder of millions of Jews occurred in a
civilized, Christian European society just 50 years ago.  Unfortunately,
the Holocaust is remote, abstract and beyond comprehension for many.  The
strength of this course is the ability to confront history in the flesh.
Students will be asked to discuss, analyze and contemplate the Holocaust.

*Organization:  The course will consist of four parts.  The first four
weeks will be comprised of lectures, presentations and films on anti-
Semitism, foundations of Nazi ideology and an historical overview of the
Third Reich.  The corresponding text is Bendersky's _A History of Nazi
Germany_.  The second unit, weeks five through eight, will be spent
listening to oral testimonies from Jews and from a Christian protector, who
survived the Holocaust in hiding.  Their experiences will be compared and
contrasted.  The third section of the class will cover five weeks and will
focus on oral testimonies from concentration camp survivors.  Levi's
_Survival in Auschwitz_, Wiesel's _Night_ and Kogon's _The Theory and
Practice of Hell_ will be the required readings for this section.  The
final two weeks of the class will attempt to deal with philosophical issues
generated by the Holocaust.  Discussions will be built around Wiesenthal's
_The Sunflower_.

Course requirements:  Midterm (50%) and Research Paper or Project (50%)

Week 1:  First half of class--ERIC EPSTEIN: Introduction, course outline
and overview of the Holocaust.  Second half of class--Film, "Genocide."

Week 2:  First half of class--LOUISE HOFFMAN, Professor of History, "Nazi
Germany."  Second half of class--ERIC EPSTEIN:  Outline of important terms
and concepts from the Third Reich and a review of Western immigration

Week 3:  First half of class--Film, "The Longest Hatred."  Second half of
class--ERIC EPSTEIN:  Review religious, racial and economic anti-Semitism.

Week 4:  First half of class--ERIC EPSTEIN:  Introduce and review _A
History of Nazi Germany_.  Second half of class--BEN STERNBERG, American
GI who interviewed concentration camp victims after the war.

Week 5:  First half of class--BETH OZER, German Jewish refugee from
the Third Reich.  Second half of class--SUSANNA BAER, Austrian refugee
from the Third Reich and a participant in the Kindertransport to England.

Week 6:  First half of class--ANNETTE BERMAN, French survivor in occupied
and Vichy, France and a member of the resistance and TERRI BERMAN (daughter).
Second half of class--ELLIE CHAPMAN, Dutch survivor in hiding.

Week 7:  First half of class--Midterm.  Second half of class--ED DUNIETZ,
Polish survivor in hiding.

Week 8:  First half of class--Discussion, _The Theory and Practice of Hell_.
Second half of class--VALERIE JAKOBER-FURTH, Hungarian survivor of
Auschwitz.  Multimedia presentation.

Week 9:  First half of class--LINDA SCHWAB, Polish survivor in hiding.
Second half of class--ROSE MANTELMACHER, Czech survivor of labor and
concentration camps including Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz.

Week 10:  First half of class--Discussion og _Night_ and _Survival in
Auschwitz_.  Second half of class--ALICE (LIESL) BOGART, Czech survivor
of the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Week 11:  LEO MANTELMACHER, Polish survivor of labor and concentration
camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau.

Week 12:  First half of class--KURT MOSES, Dutch survivor of Auschwitz.
Second half of class--SUSAN LEVITON presents music of the Holocaust.

Week 13:  (Optional)  Film:  "Korczak," the true story of a Polish
Jewish doctor, writer, storyteller and educator who dedicated his life
to Jewish orphans in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Week 14:  First half of class--JOHANNA CROWELL, Dutch Christian protector
of Jews.  Second half of class--SIEGFRIED STREUFORT, son of German Social
Democrat murdered at Neuengamme.

Week 15:  First half of class--RABBI CHAIM SCHERTZ, reflections on the
Holocaust.  Final session:  Class discussion of _The Sunflower_.  Papers


classes at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, PA.  The course
outlined in the preceding syllabus was offered at Penn State Harrisburg,
Middletown, PA.


Here is my syllabus for a senior level course I taught at Tulane last
spring on the Holocaust.  I focused on themes arising from a book I have
just about completed about a hidden child, now living in New Orleans, who
became a public person as a result of a series public encounters with David
Duke, during his various campaigns for office.

History 691-01
Special Topics in the Holocaust
Spring 1994

Professor Lawrence N. Powell    Office Hours: Wed. 9-11,
209 Hebert Building     or by appointment


William S. Allen, The Nazi Seizure of Power
Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Michael Marrus, The Holocaust in History
Judith Miller, One By One By One
Douglas Rose, ed., The Emergence of David Duke
Richard Rubinstein, The Cunning of History
Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness
Adina Blady Szwajger, I Remember Nothing More
Nechama Tec, When Light Pierce the Darkness


Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Student Edition)


There are no exams, but you will be required to write two short thought
essays (about 5 pages each) and a 12-15 page term paper.  All papers must
be typed.  I will assign topics for the two short papers, but for the term
paper you are free to write on the subject of your choice.   Some examples:
 hidden children, the Allies, Hitler's Euthanasia program, the other
"Holocausts," bystanders (both individuals, institutions, countries),
Jewish resistance and accommodation, the Jewish Councils, the SS.  The
possibilities are practically limitless.

Attendance is mandatory.





READING:  Rubinstein, The Cunning of History


READING:  Allen, The Nazi Seizure of Power



READING:  Marrus, The Holocaust in History, 3-155

FIRST PAPER DUE: "Intentionalists v. Functionalists: The Debate over the
Final Solution."

Read the following material on closed reserve:

1. Browning, "The Decision for the Final Solution"
2. Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (New York,  1975),
3. Karl Schleunes, "Retracing the Twisted Road," in F. Furet, Unanswered
Questions (New York, 1989), 54-70.


READING:  Browning, Ordinary Men


READING:  Szwajger, I Remember Nothing More


READING:  Sereny, Into That Darkness


READING:  Levi, Survival in Auschwitz



READING:  Tec, When Light Pierced the Darkness

SECOND PAPER DUE--On a topic to be assigned.


READING:  Marrus, The Holocaust in History, 156-202


READING: Miller, One By One By One


READING:  Rose, ed., The Emergence of David Duke


Michael, UMASS Dartmouth


About 2,000 years ago, Rabbi Chanina (Talmud, Ta'anit):
"Much have I learned from my teachers, and from my
colleagues more than from my teachers, and from my
students more than from all of them." 1300 years later,
Rashi of Troyes, perhaps the greatest medieval rabbinic
authority, adds, "The younger sharpen the minds of the
older because they are forever asking questions." Lets
prove them right!

Many scholars beieve that the Holocaust was a totally
unique historical phenomenon, while others have
emphasized the continuities between the Holocaust and
past events. The two sets of scholars are correct in that
every historical event is both unique and the same as
other events. Our task is to examine both the
continuities and the differences between the Holocaust
and other events.

The Holocaust is a course unlike any other subject in the
university curriculum. This is not only due to the
enormous demands it makes upon us intellectually,
challenging us to develop and draw upon knowledge in
history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, politics, and
theology, covering centuries of history drawn from a
dozen nations. But the study of the Holocaust is also
extraordinarily challenging because of the additional
emotional and moral demands it makes on us. The issues
raised by a study of the Holocaust call into question
many of the basic values of Western Civilization, and it
challenges us to redefine the meaning of human being.

The questions that lie behind the topics in the syllabus:
In order to understand the Holocaust, we must look back
far into the past, to attempt to discover the broad and
complex historical context of the Holocaust:
--Who were the Jews?
--What was their relationship to the societies they lived
--What was the Jewish attitude toward non-Jews?
--What were the first instances of antisemitism?
--When was the first historical expression of radical
--How was the antisemitism that led to the Holocaust
--What were the other holocaustic events, their historical
context, their causes?
--Who were the historical perpetrators of antisemitism and
the Holocaust?
--What were the specific initiatives of the Nazis and
their collaborators?
--What was the response of the Jews in light of the
limited knowledge they had in the 1930s and 1940s?
--What was the behavior of the bystanders, including the
American public and U.S. government, to the Holocaust?
Books: --Robert Michael, Fatal Vision: The History of
Christian Theological Antisemitism and the Nature of the
--Robert Michael, ed., Soul of the Holocaust: A Collection
of Jewish and Non-Jewish Sources  (selections supplied by
--Elie Wiesel, Night
--Nora Levin, The Holocaust
--Martin Gilbert,  Atlas of the Holocaust
--Wyman, Abandonment of the Jews

Films and Slides: Michael, "Medieval Vision of the Jew"
and Resnais and Cayrol, Night and Fog. Everyone should
see Schindler's List by the first week in February.

Goals: --To explore the historical relationship between
Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism, on the one hand, and
Western Christian civilization, on the other.
--To investigate the essential causes of the Holocaust.
--To examine the Holocaust itself.

Topics and Assignments:
--Preliminary definitions: history, historical argument,
prejudice, antisemitism, stereotype, scapegoat, racism,
the impact of religion (theologia gloriae and theologia
crucis), Holocaust (Shoah, Hrb'n, "Final Solution to the
Jewish Problem"), genocide. Michael,  Fatal Vision,
chapter 1.
--Jews, Jewishness, Judaism. Michael,  ch. 1;  Oxford
English Dictionary, entries under Jew, Jewish,
Christianity, Christian.
--The traditional attack on the Jews. Michael,  Fatal
Vision, chs. 1-4.
--Hitler and Modern Antisemitism. Michael,  Fatal Vision,
chs. 5-7; Levin, ch. 1-3.
--Chronology of the Holocaust. Gilbert, Atlas of the
Holocaust, all.
--The Jewish actions and reactions.  Wiesel, Night, all;
Michael, ed., Soul of Holocaust, chs. 2-5; Levin, The
Holocaust, chs. 4, 8, 11, 13, 17, 18.
--Actions and reactions of the occupied nations. Michael,
ed., Soul of the Holocaust, chs.  6 and 7; Levin, The
Holocaust, chs. 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 19-29.
--Actions and reactions of the Churches.  Michael,  Fatal
Vision, Ch. 8; Michael, ed., Soul of Holocaust, ch. 6.
--Actions and reactions of the Allies.  Michael,  Fatal
Vision, Chs. 9-10; Michael, ed., Soul of Holocaust, chs.
6 and 7; Levin, The Holocaust, chs. 30-32; Wyman, all.

Bureaucratic details:  Your grade is based on the
--One 2-page paper every week, based on your
reactions to the assigned reading  and lectures.
--Two objective examinations, one at midterm and
one during finals. (30% of grade)
--A take-home essay examination of at least 21 pages
or special project (70% of grade). See below.
--Final Take-Home Essay Examination is due in History
Department on the second Monday of Finals Week.
--Classroom deportment.

Final Take-Home Examination Questions [Remember, your 3
essays should reflect the thought that you have devoted
to them and must be filled with citations to the evidence
on which your essays' conclusions are based and as
provided in the lectures and in each one of the books
read for the course]:
1. In what ways did the following events, trends,
movements, and/or values of Western Civilization manifest
themselves in terms of the causation and nature of the
Holocaust: the history of Christian antisemitism; the
belief in Social Darwinism, racism, nationalism,
antimodernism /the impact of the First and Second World
Wars /the influence of economic factors /the theory and
practice of totalitarianism /the psychopathology and
sociopathology of Adolf Hitler and the National-
Socialists /the role of the Churches /the behavior of the
2. Compare and contrast the attitudes and actions (in
regard to the victims of the Holocaust) of  those
Europeans who actively or passively collaborated with the
Nazis, with the attitudes and actions of those who did
3. Trace the ambivalent American attitude toward Jews and
how it affected American reactions to the Holocaust.

Alternative to writing three essays [midterm date is
deadline for choosing this alternative]:
Write 2 of the essays and ask 10 people the following
questions, analyzing their answers.

--Do Jews stick together more than other Americans?
--Do Jews always like to be at the head of things?
--Are Jews more loyal to Israel than America?
--Do Jews have too much power in the US today?
--Do Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street?
--Do Jews have too much power in the business world?
--Do Jews have a lot of irritating faults?
--Are Jews more willing than others to use shady practices to get
what they want?
--Are Jewish businessmen so shrewd that others don't have a fair
chance in competition?
--Do Jews not care what happens to anyone but their own kind?
--Are Jews just as honest as other businessmen?
--Who was essentially responsible for killing Jesus Christ?
--Give 3 answers: All Jews are __________, ________, _____________.

Bob Michael

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