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UCSB Hist 133C, Fall 2008
Germany since 1945
T Th 2-3:15, BSIF 1217

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Wed. 1-2pm

Germany since 1945:
From Postfascist to Progressive

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 thoroughly organized genocide in world history. However, within a decade its western part was one of the Western alliance's most reliable allies, while its eastern part was a crucial element of the security buffer Stalin had created for the Soviet Union. NATO billed West Germany as 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. In the East a highly effective state security apparatus stifled civic activism until the late 1980s, but then it emerged in a sudden, peaceful revolution that felled a seemingly unshakable government in just a few 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--"8 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 eight 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), the paper itself , and a corrected version (1800 words, 5-6 pages). This paper is based primarily on one book, but requires some research. (See the blue Book Essay handout for details.)
    The proposal is due Thursday, Oct. 16; the paper itself Tuesday, Nov. 1113; and the corrected version Tuesday, November 25, 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 will be available 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 a corrected and augmented version by Thursday, Nov. 20, for publication on the course web site. This web version must also include an about the author paragraph, a 60-word abstract and an annotated bibliography/linkography. The grade of this final version will count as the exam grade. Details will be available on a separate web option handout (2007 version).

Grading: Participation: 5%; 8 questions: 40%; proposal+draft+book essay: 30%; final exam: 25%.
Work submitted after 2:00pm 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, password: generation; textbook available online: DD240.F85 1992eb.
  • Ika Hügel-Marshall, Invisible Woman: Growing up Black in Germany (Continuum, 2002; Peter Lang, 2008), 155 pages. Autobiography by the child of a German woman and a Black US GI. HQ1625.H84 A3 2001
  • Timothy Garton Ash: The File: A Personal History (Random House, 1997), 256 pages. DD287.4.G375 1997

Schedule of Lectures and Assignments (back to top)






25 Sept

Introduction: What do I need to know about Germany?

Purchase 3 course books



30 Sept

2 Oct

What is Germany?--3 Reichs, 3 Democracies

The Origins of Nazism: 3 "Special Paths"

Textbook chaps. 1, 14

Textbook chaps. (2-4), 5



7 Oct

9 Oct.

Occupation Policies from Yalta to Stuttgart

Specific Occupation Policies: The "D"s and "R"s,

Textbook chap. 6

Book proposal handout



14 Oct

16 Oct
17 Oct

The Cold War and the Division of Germany

German Politicians & Life in 1950s West Germany
Fri. 8pm, Marjorie Luke Theater: Weimar music

Textbook chap. 7
start Invisible Woman
Book proposal due
extra credit performance



19 Oct
21 Oct

23 Oct

Sun. 3pm, Campbell Hall: The Zookeeper's Wife
The 1953 Uprising; discussion of Invisible Woman

Uniting vs. Dividing Germany: 1952 to the Berlin Wall

extra credit event
finish Invisible Woman

Textbook chap.8; documents



28 Oct

30 Oct

The Berlin Wall; 6:30-9pm: The Promise(1 hr 55 mins)

Inter-German Relations in the 1960s and 70s

Evening Film (imdb page)
Textbook chap. 9



4 Nov

6 Nov

Comparing State & Society in East and West

Dealing with the Nazi Past

Textbook chap. 10

Textbook chap. 12



11 Nov

13 Nov

[change 10/7: no class, Veteran's Day]
1968: Generations & Political Culture papers due
West German Civic Activism & "Green" movement

Papers due at start of class
Supplementary texts

VIII - 16


18 Nov

20 Nov

Dissent and the Stasi State in the East

The Opening of the Berlin Wall web option due date

Textbook ch. 11; Philipsen text
Textbook ch. 13
web option supplements due



25 Nov

27 Nov

"Wrapping up" East Germany

No class, Thanksgiving Day

Revised papers due
start Ash, The File



2 Dec.

4 Dec.

Open topics; disc. of Ash, The File; Good-Bye Lenin

Concluding overview

finish Ash

Textbook chap. 14


10 Dec

Wed., 7pm : 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

Students with special needs: Please let me know at the beginning of the quarter if you need any accommodations.
Also, if your class schedule may make your chronically late for class, please let me know as well.

syllabus prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Sept. 30, 2008, updated: 10/12/08
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