UCSB Hist 133B, Winter 1995 [Jan. 2006: New course homepage]
note: the last time this course was taught, it covered the WHOLE 20th century.
Next time, it will run from ca. 1900 to 1942

"20th Century Germany"
1100 Geology, T-Th 11:00-12:15
Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

(1995 Syllabus)

This lecture course will present and analyze central aspects of the German history from 1900 to 1989, including:

  • World War I and the 1918 Revolution in Germany;
  • the attempt to establish a democratic state, 1919-32;
  • the Third Reich and the Holocaust, 1933-1945;
  • the diverging paths of East and West Germany from division to unification, 1945-1989.

The main purposes of this course are:

  1. to familiarize you with the main contours of the history of one of the most dynamic nation-states in the 20th century;
  2. to examine the creation, resilience, breakdown, and recreation of political culture and social structures;
  3. to demonstrate how evidence can be used to explain complex historical developments in different ways.


  • Attendance is mandatory. Weekly questions (see below) indicate regular attendance.
    Lectures include slides, videos, information and interpretation not available elsewhere.
  • Instead of a midterm examination, there will be six in-class source interpretations on the days marked "Q." They are based on the readings for that day or week, and may be answered using your notebook. They will take only 10-15 minutes to answer.
    They will be graded on a scale 1-4; only your five best scores will count.
    All five together will be worth 20% of your final grade.
  • There will be two papers, each ca. 4 pages (1000 words) in length. They are based on the readings by Haffner and Wallraff. Detailed handouts will be distributed.
    The papers are due March 2.
    Note that this course fulfills the General Education Writing Requirement. Failure to submit either paper will result in failing the course.
  • The final exam will consist of 5/9 IDs, one essay question, and one source interpretation.
    A study guide will be distributed in early March.

GRADING: Questions: 20% / Papers: 20% + 20% / Final Exam: 40% .

COURSE BOOKS (all on 2 hour reserve at the library)

  • Reader with sources and essays, available at Alternative Copy on Pardall Road in Isla Vista, 74pp., ca. $3.00.
  • Mary Fulbrook, The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992), $17.95/$13.45.
    Textbook focusing on the post-1945 period. DD240.F85 1992
  • Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918-1919 (New York: Banner, 1986)[translation of: Verratene Revolution, 1969], 205pp., ca. $11
    A powerfully argued interpretation on the 1918-19 revolution.
  • Peter Hayes (ed.), Lessons and Legacies: The Meaning of the Holocaust in a Changing World (Evanston, Il.: Northwestern, 1991), ca. $15.
    Collection of essays by historians who analyze various aspects of the Nazi Judeocide and some of the ways in which it has been interpreted.
  • Günter Wallraff, Lowest of the Low (London: Methuen, 1988)[trans. of Ganz Unten, 1986]. (available as a reader at the UCen bookstore)
    A documentary by a German journalist who turned himself into a Turk and lived as a foreigner in Germany.


DATE(Tue/Thu)              TOPIC                                             READING:

5 Jan.   1. Introduction: What is Germany? (1800-1900-2000)    Fulbrook, pp. 1-14

10 Jan. 2. Germany and the Origins of World War I                  Haffner, entire
12 Jan. 3. World War I                                                             Reader, 1-14

17 Jan. 4. The "Betrayed Revolution," Versailles and Weimar
19 Jan. 5. The Weimar Republic                                             1st paper due, 11am

24 Jan. 6. Social Change in Weimar Germany                           Fulbrook, 17-49, 78f Reader 15-38
26 Jan. 7. The Nazi "Seizure" and Consolidation of Power        Fulbrook, 49-74

31 Jan. 8. Hitler and the Nazi Elite (FILM Hitler: A Career)         Fulbrook, 74-95
                 Handout for assignment (due 28 Feb.)
2 Feb.   9. The German Volk in the 1930s                                     L & L, chap. 1-4
--- last day to drop classes

7 Feb. 10. The "Enemies" of the Volk Reader, 39-52                  L & L, chap. 5-8
9 Feb. 11. World War II                                                            Fulbrook, 96-104

14 Feb. 12. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz                              Fulbrook, 104-120
16 Feb. 13. Life and Death in the Camps                                    L & L, chap. 9-11

21 Feb. 14. Resistance to the Nazi Government                             Fulbrook, 91f, 121-5
23 Feb. 15. The End of the War: Legacies of the Third Reich         Fulbrook, 129-167
Friday: last day to change grading option                                        Wallraff, entire

28 Feb. 16. East Germany: Stalin's Orphan?                  Fulbrook, 168-88,197-210
2 Mar.  17. West Germany: NATO's Model Child?

7 Mar. 18. West Germany Turns (1970) and Returns (1982)            Fulbrook, 210-220-243
9 Mar. 19. The Decline and Fall of Honecker's Germany: 1989        Fulbrook, 265-317-345
--- Final exam study guide handout 2ND PAPER DUE, 11:00am

14 Mar. 20. Drawing Lessons from German History / Review         Fulbrook, 346-369, 1-14


document created Jan. 1995; updated 1/3/06
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