UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133b Homepage > Winter 2007 syllabus

UCSB Hist 133 B, Winter 2007
German History, 1900-1945
TTh 11-12:15, HSSB 4020

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Tue 12:30-2:30pm

German History, 1900-1945
Course Syllabus
(pdf print version)

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Schedule of Lectures
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Course Overview (back to top; jump down to schedule of lectures)

This course is designed for students with a general knowledge of European history in the 20th century.

We will investigate the main events in German history from the origins of World War I to the legacies of World War II. These include:

  • the revolution and counterrevolution that ended the First World War;
  • the crisis, stable and depression phases of the Weimar Republic;
  • Hitler's ascent to power;
  • life in Nazi Germany, and
  • key features of World War II and the Holocaust.

Your Contribution (Course Requirements) (back to top)

  1. I expect you to attend all classes. Why take a course if you don't make the effort to learn what it teaches? Lectures include images, discussion and information not available elsewhere. I will call roll until I learn your names. Participation counts for 5% of the course grade.
    If you wish to have an excused absence, including undocumented medical absences, you must inform me by e-mail or phone message before the class in question begins.
  2. There will not be a formal midterm examination. Instead, you will be asked to write a short text (300 words) on simple questions about the assigned readings, roughly once each week. These eight questions will be announced in advance. They are worth 30% of the final grade.
    Make-up questions are only possible for absences excused prior to the start of class.
  3. A list of several essay topic ideas for a book essay, the essay itself (1800 words, 5-6 pages), and a revised version. This essay is based primarily on one book, which I will recommend based on your topic ideas, or which you may select yourself. (A blue book essay handout will provide details.)
    The list of ideas is due Thursday, Feb. 8; the essay itself Thursday, March 1; and the revised version Tuesday, March 13, always at the beginning of class. Together they count for 5+30+5=40% of your final grade. However, note the different deadlines for the no final exam option in #5.
  4. A take-home final examination will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, and one essay question. It is worth 25%. A study guide may be distributed in advance.
  5. No-exam option: Students who submit their topic ideas by Feb. 1 and their book essay by Feb. 22, if they receive a B+ or better on that essay, may opt out of taking the final exam. If you qualify for and choose this option, you must submit, by March 6, a corrected and augmented version for publication on the course web site. This web version must include a short "about the author" paragraph, a 60-word abstract, and an annotated bibliography-linkography. The author blurb and abstract are worth 5% of your total grade, the annotated references 20% (!). Details will be available on a separate web option handout. Revised versions of the 3 supplements are due Mar. 15.
  6. Students with outstanding book essays will may present their papers orally for extra credit.
Grading: Participation:
8 questions:
Final exam / web option:
40% (5+30+5)
See the grading section on the course homepage for distributions from my past courses.
Late policy: Work submitted after 11:00am on the due date will lose one point per day.
Kitchen's textbook, cover

Required Books (also on reserve at the UCSB library)
(back to top)

  • Textbook: Martin Kitchen, A History of Modern Germany, 1800-2000 (Blackwell, 2006). DD203.K58 2006, $40 new
    (note: this can be used as the textbook for Hist 133C in Spring quarter)
    amazon $40 new
  • Essay Collection : Richard Bessel (ed.), Life in the Third Reich, (Oxford, 1987, 2001), $13. UCSB: DD256.5 .L52 1987
    amazon $3 used, $13 new
  • Photocopied Reader : available week of January 29. for a bound photocopy at a copyshop (available Oct. 27)

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments (back to top)

Week 1

Jan. 9

Jan. 11


Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany, 1890-1914

Kitchen, chap. 9

Week 2

Jan. 16

Jan. 18

World War I, 1914-1918

Revolution and Counterrevolution, 1918-1919

Kitchen, chap. 10

Week 3

Jan. 23

Jan. 25

The Weimar Republic, 1919-1923

The Weimar Republic, 1924-1929

Kitchen, chap. 11

Week 4

Jan. 30

Feb. 1

Hitler and the Nazi Ascent to Power, 1929-1933

The Nazi Takeover and Life in the Early 1930s

Kitchen, chap. 12
Bessel (ed.) , 1-56
(web: topic ideas due)

Week 5

Feb. 6

Feb. 8

Life Worthy and Unworthy of Living

The Concentration Camp System

Reader: Nazi doctors

topic idea lists due

Week 6

Feb. 13

Feb. 15

Kristallnacht, November 1938

Making War for Lebensraum, 1939-1941

Bessel, 57-96; Kitchen, 284-298

Kitchen, 298-315

Week 7

Feb. 20

Feb. 22

War of Genocide, 1941-1943

Responses to War and Genocide

Reader: Battalion 101
Reader: Nazi ghettos in Poland
(web: book essays due)

Week 8

Feb. 27

Mar. 1


The Final Phase of World War II, 1944-45

Reader: Auschwitz

book essays due

Week 9

Mar. 6

Mar. 8

Human Behavior in Extreme Conditions

Legacies of the Holocaust

(web option supplements due)

Bessel (ed.), 97-110

Week 10



Student presentations

Concluding lecture

revised essays due (e-mail)
final exam study guide
(corrected web essays+supplements)



Thurs., 3pm : Final Examination due, HSSB 4221


Plagiarism-presenting someone else's work as your own, or deliberately failing to credit or attribute the work of others on whom you draw (including materials found on the web)-is a serious academic offense, punishable by dismissal from the university. It hurts the ones who commit it most of all, by cheating them out of an education. I will report offenses to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action. For more details, see the Plagiarism page on my web site.

Students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and would like to discuss special academic accommodations, please contact me via e-mail or during my office hours..

syllabus prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Jan. 13, 2006, updated: /07
back to top; to UCSB Hist 133b homepage, to Courses Page; Prof. Marcuse's homepage