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UCSB Hist 133D, Winter 2008
Readings on the Holocaust
HSSB 4020, Tue. & Thu. 12:30-1:45

Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Mon. 11-12, Tue. 2-3pm

The Holocaust in German History: 2008 SYLLABUS
(pdf print version; Schedule of Topics)

Course Description and Goals (back to top)

There are many reasons to study the Holocaust, which I understand to be the systematic, state-run mass murder of entire groups of people. In this course we will not only study what happened, but also investigate why those events happened. My courses also emphasize historical skills: assessing and interpreting historical sources, and presenting the results of research.

Your Contribution (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 journal--"8 questions." There will not be a formal midterm examination. Instead, you will be asked to write a short text (200-300 words) on 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, comprised of a proposal (1-2 pages), essay , and a revised version (1800 words, 5-6 pages). This paper is based primarily on one book, but requires some research. (See the blue Book Essay handout)
    The proposal is due Thursday, Jan. 31; the essay Thursday, Feb. 21; and the revised version Tuesday, March 4, always at the beginning of class.
    All together the proposal and essay draft and revision count for 5+20+5=30% of your final grade.
    • Note : This course fulfills the General Education writing requirement. If you do not submit the book essay, you will not receive creditfor this course (i.e., you will fail).
  4. A take-home final examination will have 3 IDs chosen from 9, and one essay question. The final is worth 25% of your total grade. The exam will be available in the last week of classes.
    • No-exam option: Students receiving a B+ or better on their book essay may opt out of taking the final exam. If you choose this option, you must submit, on Feb. 28 March 4 or 6 (depending on when you got your corrected essay back), a 60-word project abstract and a 5-10 item annotated reference list.
    • By March 11, you will need to submit corrected and revised electronic versions for publication on the course web site.
    • Your annotated source list will comprise most of your exam grade. Details will be available on a separate web option handout.

Grading: (back to top)
is on a point system. You can accumulate up to 100 points, distributed as follows:
participation: 5; eight questions: 40; proposal+book essay+revision 5+20+5=30; final exam or web option: 25. Work submitted after 12:30pm on the due date will lose one point per day.

Required Books (they are also on reserve in the library)

  1. Textbook: D. Dwork and R.J. van Pelt, Holocaust: A History (Norton, 2002)
    ($13 at amazon).
  2. Biography: Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor's Tale, vols. I & II (1986, 1991)
    ($18-20 combined)
  3. Reflections: Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning (1946, 1959, 2006)
    ($6 at amazon)
  4. Additional readings available at: eres.library.ucsb.edu/eres/coursepass.aspx?cid=2851, password: rhythm

Hist 133D, Winter 2008
Schedule of Lecture and Assignments

(back to top)

Please note: The professor reserves the right to make changes in topic and due date as necessary







8 Jan .

10 Jan

Introduction: Why study the Holocaust?

Causes of the Holocaust: Antisemitism

Textbook intro & chap. 1, 3-28.



15 Jan.

17 Jan.

World War I: History paves the way

Learning about the Holocaust; discussion of Maus

Text chap. 2, pp. 29-62

Maus, vols. 1+2 (entire)



22 Jan.

24 Jan.

Why did the Nazis come to power? The 1920s

Presentation by Sobibor survivor Thomas Blatt

Text chap. 3, pp. 63-81
Textbook ch. 14, pp. 356-374
Text chap. 4, pp. 65-80



28 Jan.
29 Jan.

31 Jan.

Monday, 5:30pm, 524 Chapala St: lecture by A. Owings
Discussion with oral historian Alison Owings

Germany in the 1930s

Four chapters on eres (pw: rhythm)

Thu: book proposal due



5 Feb.

7 Feb.

Accelerating persecution: Kristallnacht

The Course of World War II

Textbook chap. 5, pp. 81-132

Textbook ch. 6+7, pp. 133-201



12 Feb.

14 Feb.

Adolf Hitler: Planner or Opportunist?

From Eugenics to Euthanasia

Textbook chap. 8, pp. 202-238

Textbook chap. 9, pp. 239-258



19 Feb.
20 Feb.
21 Feb.

The Ghettos: Czerniakow vs. Rumkowski
Wed. 6pm: film Uprising (177 mins.)
Resistance to Nazism; discussion of film

Textbook chap. 10, pp. 259-284
1920 Buchanan
Thu: book essay due

VIII - 15


26 Feb.

28 Feb.
28 Feb.

Resistance and Rescue The Concentration Camp System
Feb 26, 5pm: lecture by Prof. Claudia Koonz
Camp System [topics changed on 2/26]
Feb. 28, 7pm: lecture by Prof. Claudia Koonz

Textbook ch. 12 & 13

Textbook ch. 11, pp. 285-315
Thu: web option sources due



4 Mar.

6 Mar.

Techniques of Mass MurderLife in the Death Camps

Life in the Death Camps

Textbook ch. 10-11, pp. 267-315
Tue/Thu: final book essay due
Textbook ch. 14, pp. 356-374



11 Mar.

13 Mar.
14 Mar

Dissolution, Liberation, Perpetrators; Discussion of Frankl

Summary and Conclusions
8pm: deadline for e-mail of web option

Frankl, Man's Search

Textbook: Epilogue 375-386
[updates 3/5/08]


18 Mar.

Tuesday, by 3pm : Final Exam due in HSSB 4221

take-home exam

Policies (back to top)

  • Plagiarism & academic dishonesty--presenting someone else's work as your own, or 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 report offenses to the university authorities for disciplinary action.
  • Cell phones ringing in class are an annoyance and distraction for me and other students. If your phone rings during class, I will stop the lecture and answer your call myself. Also: no text messaging, please.

prepared for web by H. Marcuse, Jan. 8, 2008, updated: 3/5/08
back to top, to UCSB Hist 133D homepage