UCSB Hist 133D, Winter 1998 Prof. Marcuse
The Holocaust in German History March 10, 1998


The final exam will take place from 9:00-11:00am on Tuesday, March 17, in HSSB 1174.
Be sure to bring a blue book. The exam is worth 40 points total.

I. Identify and define the significance (20 mins., 3 @ 4 points each)

On the final examination you will be given 5 of the following names/events/concepts from which you must select 3. The identification should include an approximate date, which need not be exact, but should situate the event correctly in relation to other important events. You should take special care to DEFINE THE SIGNIFICANCE of the term in the context of the Holocaust or German history.
9 November 1923

20 July 1944


Auschwitz I, II, III

Babi Yar

bystanders - USA

Eichmann, Adolf


Evian Conference

Frank, Anne



Himmler, Heinrich

Höss, Rudolf


Hitler-Stalin Pact



Nuremberg Laws

Pale of Settlement

Peine, Germany

Rosenstrasse, Berlin

Schindler, Oskar

Sobibor uprising


Stalingrad, Battle of


Versailles Treaty

Wannsee Conference

Warsaw Ghetto uprising

II. Source Interpretation. (20 mins., 10 points)

You will be given a short quotation from a text of the Holocaust period, which you should identify (put in context), and then interpret, revealing what it tells us about the Holocaust. The selection will be taken from the course readings. Good answers will use comparisons to relate the quotation to issues raised in the course.

For example (see also textbook pages 152, 153, 162, 166, appendices C-F):

"We men of the new Germany must be strict with ourselves even if it means a long period of separation from our family. For we must finish matters once and for all and finally settle accounts with the war criminals, in order to create a better and eternal Germany for our heirs. We are not sleeping here. There are three or four operations a week. Sometimes Gypsies, another time Jews, partisans and all sorts of trash. … We are not carrying on a lawless regime here, but when an action requires immediate atonement we contact the SD and justice takes its course. If the official judicial system were operating, it would be impossible to exterminate a whole family when only the father is guilty."
1941 letter home from a German policeman in an Einsatzkommando (p. 189)

In this case, you would first identify the Einsatzkommandos and what they were doing in Eastern Europe in 1941 (ex: Babi Yar). You might then comment on an ideology of "hard men" (Höss) and scapegoats (Gypsies and Jews as "war criminals"), on the use of euphemisms ("operations," with comparisons to show how commonplace they were, ex. in appendix A) and dehumanizing language ("trash"), and on the strange amoral morality ("not … lawless," compare Höss, Hitler). An excellent analysis might notice that "finally settle accounts" probably refers to the "criminals" behind the Versailles Treaty, that "eternal Germany" has something to do with nationalism in a modern mass society, or it might examine the implications of the use of the term "atonement," for example that the life of a mere subhuman father would not be equivalent to injury to one member of the master race, or the idea that the blood bond of a family somehow draw its members into guilt as well.

III. Essay question: You will have to answer one of the following questions. (1 hour, 18 pts)
Study tip:
make an outline for each! (Bring these to class on Thursday with your questions.)

1. What enabled Adolf Hitler to come to power in Germany? Trace his successes and failures from the end of World War I through the 1920s to the actual assumption and consolidation of power in 1933-34. How did political and economic developments determine his successes? Antisemitism? Propaganda? Diplomacy? History? German traditions? Other factors?

2. Outline the various phases in the National Socialist campaign against the Jews, beginning in 1933 and ending with the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945. Who were the key figures behind the development and implementation of the program? What role did the concentration camps and extermination centers play in that process? How did the fortunes of war affect the process?

3. Victims of the Holocaust employed many strategies for survival, ranging from collaboration with the persecutors to direct violence against them. From the material for this course (readings, lectures, films, visitors), give at least six examples (total) for various positions along this spectrum. Please pay attention to the terminology you use. Give enough detail from each one to enable you to explain why you position it as you do, and discuss the motivations at work in each. A good essay might also include a discussion of personality types typical for some categories, or of how the same behavior in a non-victim group might be classified differently.

4. Throughout this course you have seen many examples of how events were and are portrayed differently from what one might consider the historical truth. When discussing how the Nazis did this, we usually term it propaganda, but we find it more acceptable when it serves a more positive educational experience, such as the dramatic license used in the contemporary "docudrama" films we viewed. Analyze at least six cases of such manipulation, three from the Nazi period, and three contemporary ones. Discuss how (and how well) the distortions in the portrayal serve(d) the ends of the portrayer. A good answer must discuss author intent, and also whether that intent might have been better served by a portrayal closer to the "truth." Less obvious examples will be given greater weight in the grading.