archived from
University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2004
HIS 337N Germany in 20th Cent-Hon
Days Time Instructor
3:30 PM- 5:00 PM

Course Description
Hitler and the Nazis have given twentieth-century Germany a world-historical significance it would otherwise have lacked. Even from our vantage point, the Nazi regime is still one of the most dramatic and destructive episodes in western European, indeed, in world history. Nazism is synonymous with terror, concentration camps and mass murder. Hitler's war claimed the lives of tens of millions and left Europe in complete ruins.

The danger resides in the temptation to view all of German history from the end of the nineteenth-century onwards as merely the pre-history of Nazism, thereby failing to deal with each period on its own terms. New political and social systems were imposed upon the two halves of the divided Germany by the victors. The hostilities of the Cold War appeared to ensure a permanent division of Germany, which in 1961 assumed a compelling symbolic form, the Berlin Wall. But in 1989, the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revolutionized East Germany as well. The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany were once again joined together in one nation. How does the unification of East and West Germany affect Germany's future role in Europe and the world?…

Course Requirements
There will be no formal mid-term or final exam. The writing requirements are:
  1. Two longer essay assignments (each 6-8 pages typewritten, each worth 30% of your final grade) which ask you to think critically about some of the major issues in twentieth century German history.
  2. In addition to these two longer essay assignments, you will be asked to write one shorter essay (4-5 pages typewritten—worth 20% of the final grade) on any one of the books by Fritzsche, Remarque, Bessel, Levi, or Schneider.
  3. Write two short (2-3 page) analyses of the original documents, or visual evidence that I will include among the class handouts, or internet sites on twentieth century Germany, or current media discussions of modern German history that you yourself have found.


  • Mary Fullbrook, THE DIVIDED NATION
  • Peter Fritzsche, GERMANS INTO NAZIS
  • Erich Maria Remarque, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
  • Richard Bessel(ed) LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH
  • Peter Schneider, THE WALL JUMPER

archived Nov. 2004 for UCSB Hist 133c; back to courses & resources page