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UCSB Hist 133C, Spring 2007
Germany since 1945
MWF 11-11:50, HSSB 4020

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Mon 12:30-1:30; Thu 12-1pm

Germany since 1945:
From the Stasi to the Greens

Course Syllabus
(pdf print version)

Introduction and Goals (back to top; jump down to schedule of lectures)

Prior to 1945 Germany was the primary instigator of two world wars and the perpetrator of the most carefully organized and institutionalized genocide in the history of the world. However, within a decade its western part was one of the Western alliance's most reliable allies, while its eastern part was an crucial part of the security buffer Stalin had created for the Soviet Union. West Germany was a "bastion of democracy" buffering capitalist western from communist eastern Europe, while East Germany was a laboratory experiment in "real existing socialism" under the constraints of Cold War competition. By the late 1960s, one of the best organized grassroots movements in European history began to emerge in the West, entering mainstream politics as the Green party in the 1970s. A highly effective state security apparatus stifled civic activism in the East until the late 1980s, but then it burst forth in a sudden, peaceful revolution that felled the government in 10 months.

Research shows that a few months after taking a course most students remember only 8-15% of the factual material from that course. Thus I try to emphasize themes and skills that may have more lasting value. In this course we will practice applying concepts and interpreting evidence to draw conclusions about the causes and consequences of historical developments in recent German history.

Requirements (back to top)

  1. Attendance. I expect you to attend all classes and scheduled evening events. Why take a course if you don't make the effort to learn what it teaches? Lectures include images, videos, discussion and information not available elsewhere. I 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. Midterm--"10 questions." There will not be a formal midterm examination. Instead, you will be asked to write a short text (200-300 words) on simple questions about the assigned readings or films, roughly once each week. These ten questions will generally be announced in advance. They are worth 40% of the final grade. (This is a lot--and plays a large role in determining your final grade.)
    Make-up questions are only possible for absences excused prior to the start of class.
  3. Book essay. A proposal (1-2 pages), draft , and a final version (1800 words, 5-6 pages). This paper is based primarily on one book, but requires some research. (See the blue handout for details.)
    The proposal is due Friday, Jan. 27; the draft Friday, Feb. 17; and the final version Friday, March 10, always at the beginning of class. Together they count for 5+20+5=30% of your final grade.
  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.
    No-exam option: Students receiving a B+ or better on their paper draft may opt out of taking the final exam. If they want to opt for this, they must submit their final version on Friday, May 25. They must then submit, by June 8, a corrected and augmented electronic version for publication on the course web site. This web version must include a 60-word project abstract and an annotated bibliography and linkography. The grade of this final version will count as the exam grade. Details will be available on a separate web option handout.

Grading: Participation: 5%; 10 questions: 40%; proposal+draft+term paper: 30%; final exam: 25%.
Work submitted after 11:00am on the due date will lose one point per day.

Required Books (back to top)

  • Textbook: Mary Fulbrook, History of Germany 1918-2000: The Divided Nation (Blackwell, 2002). Textbook focusing on the post-1945 period. [the 1992 Oxford edition, The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990, also ok]
  • Readings on eres; copy of textbook available as well: DD240.F85 1992eb.
  • Bernhard Schlink, The Reader [person who reads aloud] (Vintage, 1995), 224 pages.
  • Timothy Garton Ash: The File: A Personal History (Random House, 1997), 256 pages

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments (back to top)






2 A pr.
4 Apr.
6 Apr.

Introduction: "From the Stasi to the Greens"
What is Germany?--3 Empires & 4 Republics
What is Germany, cont'd: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Textbook chaps. 1, 14


9 Apr.
11 Apr.
13 Apr.

World War I and Weimar Germany: Seminal Experiences
Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, I & II:
What Postwar German Politicians Experienced

Textbook chaps. 2+3
Textbook chaps. 4+5
start Schlink




15 Apr.
16 Apr.

18 Apr.

20 Apr.

Sun. 3pm, 781 Embarcadero d.Mar: Saul Friedländer
Defeat and its Legacies, I; discussion of Schlink
Tue., 7-9pm, Corwin: film Walk on Water w/ director
Defeat and its Legacies, II
Thu. 5pm , IV Th.2: Prof. Marcuse on Holocaust memorials
Occupation Policies: 4 Ds, 2 Rs, and 2 turn-arounds

extra credit for attendance
finish Schlink
extra credit for attendance

Textbook chap. 6


23 Apr.
25 Apr.
27 Apr.

The 1953 Uprisings
Continuities in the West; 7:30pm: Rape of Europe.
Uniting vs. Dividing Germany: 1952 to the Berlin Wall

Book proposal due
Textbook chap. 7
source texts


30 Apr.
2 May
4 May

Discussion with Prof. Ursula Mahlendorf
The Building of the Wall; 6:30pm: The Promise, HSSB 4020
Separate Lives: The 1960s
West German Foreign Relations in the 1960s and 70s

chapters by Prof. Mahlendorf
Evening Film
[imdb page]
Textbook ch.8a+b; & chap. 10
Textbook ch.8c+d (1970s+80s)


6 May
7 May
9 May
11 May

Sun., 3-5pm, 524 Chapala: Judaken on French Antisem.
discussion with Prof. J. Judaken: German Antisemitism
West Germany and the Nazi Past I
West Germany and the Nazi Past II papers due

extra credit for attendance
Horkheimer/Adorno text (eres)

Papers due at start of class


14 May
16 May
18 May

Socialist Republic vs. Capitalist Democracy
Dissent in the West
The Environmental Movement

Textbook chaps. 9 and 12
Textbook ch. 11d (D&O in W.)
Texts on the German Greens

VIII - 22

21 May
23 May
25 May

Dissent and the Stasi State in the East
Building a Mass Movement
The Opening of the Berlin Wall web option due date

Textbk ch. 11a-c; Philipsen text
Textbook ch. 13
web option supplements due


28 May
30 May
1 June

No class, Memorial Day
Democratic Socialism or Socialist Democracy?
Discussion of Ash, The File

start Ash, The File
finish Ash
Revised papers due


4 June
6 June
8 June

Student presentations Evening Film: Goodbye Lenin, 4020
Discussion of Goodbye Lenin; Presentations/Overview
Final discussion

Evening Film [imdb page]

Textbook chap. 14


14 June

Thu., 3pm : Final Exam due in my office, HSSB 4221

take-home exam

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 one who commits it most of all, by cheating them out of an education. I will report offenses to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action. Plagiarism page

syllabus prepared for web by H. Marcuse on April 2, 2007, updated: 4/21/07
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