UCSB Hist 133C, Winter 2000
Prof. Marcuse
Germany in the Shadow of the Holocaust
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Phelps 3519, T-Th 11:00-12:15
Office hours: Tues. 1-2, Wed. 11-12

Germany since 1945:
Building Democracy in the Shadow of the Holocaust
Course Syllabus
(superceded by 2004 syllabus and 2006 syllabus)

Introduction and Goals

Germany was the United States' worst enemy in two world wars prior to 1945, but only a few years later it was well on the way to becoming our most reliable ally in Europe. This course will pay special attention to the role Germany's Nazi past played in the development of its political culture after 1945.

I realize that a short time after a course most students will remember only a few points about material from that course. Thus I try to emphasize themes and skills that will hopefully have more lasting value. Throughout this course, we will practice analyzing and interpreting evidence to draw our own conclusions about the causes and effects of historical developments.


  1. I expect you to attend all classes and both evening film screenings. Why take a course if you don't make the effort to learn what it teaches? Lectures include slides, videos, discussion and information not available elsewhere in the course. I will call roll in order to learn your names.
  2. There will not be a midterm examination. Instead, you will be asked to write a short paragraph on a simple question about the assigned readings or films, roughly once every two weeks. These five questions will be announced one lecture in advance. They are worth 10% of the final grade.
  3. You must keep a journal with 1-2 entries per week, for a total of 8 entries. Each entry, about 2/3 page, single-spaced (450 words), will be based on your thoughts about news articles that you relate to the course, or about my lectures, the course readings or films.

  4. (For further details, see the blue "Journal and Term Paper Assignment" handout.)
    They are due at the beginning of class because I am distracted by people entering the room late.
    (See also the late policy under grading, below).
    Note: This course fulfills the General Education writing requirement. If you do not submit this journal and the term paper, you will not receive credit for this course (i.e., you will fail).
  5. A 1-2 page advance proposal and a term paper (1500 words, 5-6 pages). This paper will require some research. The proposal is due Thursday, February 17; the paper Tuesday, Feb. 29, both at the beginning of class. Together they count for 40% of your final grade.
  6. A two-hour final examination will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, one source interpretation, and one essay question from a choice of two. A study guide will be distributed before the last class.
Grading: questions: 10%; journal: 20%; proposal + term paper: 40%; final exam: 30%.
Work submitted after 11am will be graded down 1/3 grade per day (B+ to B) etc.

Required Course Books (also on reserve at the library)

11 Jan

13 Jan.
13 & 14



Introduction: A Personal Odyssey through German History

What is Germany?: Three Reichs, Three Democracies
9am-4pm, Phelps Courtyard: IC priority stickers; 7:30 film "Run Lola" 

Reader 1 & 2; Textbook 1-14
Textbook chap. 2
begin Schlink, The Reader
skim textbook chap. 14
18 Jan.

20 Jan.



The Origins of Nazism: A German "Special Path"?

What was Nazism?-Views from Before and After

Textbook chaps. 3, [4], 5
finish Schlink, Reader
Reader 3: The Three Myths
discuss Schlink
25 Jan.

27 Jan.



Hot Wash, Cold War: The Denazification Laundry 

Women in West Germany

J1-3 due; Reader 4 & 5
Textbook chaps. 6 & 7
Reader 6 & 7; start Böll
1 Feb.

3 Feb.



Foundations of the SED State

From "Nazis" to "Democrats:" East and West

Reader 8: Eisenhower on 1953
finish Böll, Billiards
Böll discussion
8 Feb.
8&9, 7pm
10 Feb.


The Berlin Wall: Symbol of an Era
Film: "The Promise" (1995; 1 hr 55 mins., room TBA) 
The 1960s: Stagnating Socialism in the East J4-6 due
Reader 9-15: Berlin 1961
Evening film
J1-3 due; Text. chaps. 8 & 9
15 Feb.
15&16, 7
17 Feb.


The 1960s: A "Sea Change" in the West? 
Film: "The Nasty Girl" (1989; 1 hr, 34 min., 7pm, room TBA)
Nazism and the Holocaust in German Politics 
Textbook chaps. 9 & 10
Evening film
Proposal due at start of class
22 Feb.

24 Feb.



Old Conservatives and New Radicals: Tides of the 70s

The "Wende" (Turn) as Whiplash: Culture in the 1980s

Textbook chaps. 10 & 11
Textbook chap. 12
R 20-21: Reagan & Weiszäcker
29 Feb.

2 Mar.



Ostpolitik from Brandt to Honnecker

1987-89: Cracks in the Iron Curtain       Paper Due

R 16-18: Nixon, Carter, Reagan
Reader 22: Emergence
Paper Due (start of class!)
7 Mar.

9 Mar.



The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Unification: Historical, Political, Cultural

Textbook chap. 13
Reader 19: Clinton
Reader 23: Fear, Guilt, Revenge
14 Mar.

16 Mar.



Confronting "Nazism" in the 1990s             J7-8 Due

Putting It All Together: Final Discussion

J7-8 Due; Reader 24, 25, 26

Textbook chap. 14

22 Mar.
Wednesday, 12-2pm, Phelps 3519: Final Examination  bring a large blue book