HIST E-1572 The Holocaust in History, Literature, and Film
Fall term 2017 CRN 15368
This seminar approaches the Nazi persecution of European Jewry from several disciplinary perspectives. First, it explores the topic historically using a variety of historical materials dealing with the history of European antisemitism, German history from Bismarck to the accession of Hitler, the evolution of anti-Jewish persecution in the Third Reich, and the history of the Holocaust itself. Texts include primary sources produced by the German government between 1933 and 1945 and by Jewish victims and survivors, documentary films, and secondary interpretations. The aims of this part of the seminar are to give students an understanding of the background and narrative of the Holocaust, to introduce them to the use of primary historical sources, and to familiarize them with some of the major historiographical debates. Students then ponder religious and theological reactions to the Holocaust, using literary and cinematic resources as well as discursive theological ones. They consider the historical question of the role played by the Protestant and Catholic churches and theologies in the Holocaust. The course concludes with an assessment of the role played by the Holocaust in today's world, specifically in the United States.