UCSB Hist 133D, Fall 1999Prof. Marcuse
The Holocaust in German HistoryDec. 9, 1999


The final exam will take place from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm on Wednesday, December 15, in HSSB 1174.
Be sure to bring a large blue book. The exam is worth 30% of the final grade (60 points total).

I. Identify and define the significance (30 mins., 3 @ 6 points each)

On the final examination you will be given 6 of the following names/events/concepts from which you must select 3. The identification should answer the questions who or what, where, when, and especially why the person, concept or event is significant in the context of the Holocaust, German history, or our understanding of them.
20 July 1944


Auschwitz I, II, III

Babi Yar

Diary of Anne Frank

Eichmann, Adolf


Enabling Act



Firestone, Renee




Heck, Alfons

Himmler, Heinrich

(Höss, Rudolf)


Jehovah's Witnesses


Hitler-Stalin Pact



Lodz Ghetto (Rumkowski)

Milgram experiments

(Nuremberg Trials)

Operation Reinhard camps

Pernkopf, Eduard

Rothschild family


Sobibor uprising

Sonderweg (special path)


Stalingrad, Battle of

Tuskegee syphilis experiment


Versailles Treaty

Warsaw Ghetto uprising

White Rose

II. Source Interpretation. (30 mins., 20 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 with other examples to relate the quotation to central issues raised in the course.

For example (see also: Abzug 37f, 42, 138ff; textbook 152, 153, 162, 166, appendices C-F):

"The laws passed by the Reichstag at Nuremberg have affected the Jews in Germany most severely. They are nonetheless intended to create a basis on which a tolerable relationship between the German and Jewish peoples will be possible ... A prerequisite for a tolerable relationship is the hope that the Jews and the Jewish communities of Germany will be allowed the moral and economic means of existence by the halting of defamation and boycott."
Statement by the Central Representation of German Jews, 24 Sept. 1935

Guideline: you would first identify this text as a response to the Nuremberg Laws, briefly outlining what they were and what they did. Then you would put it in the context of Jewish life in Germany since 1933. Finally, you would draw out of the text the (optimistic) attitude of some Jewish Germans that some form of coexistence in Nazi Germany would be possible. You might also note the consequences of this erroneous assumption for Jewish responses to the Holocaust.

III. Essay question: You will have to answer one of the following questions (choice from 2). (1 hour, 22 pts)
Study tip: make an outline for each!

  1. The Holocaust has been explained in various ways, with causes ranging from individual leaders (which ones?), to the non-reactions of German (and foreign) bystanders, to the behavior of the victims themselves. Historical events and interpretations, ideology, and cultural traits and traditions are also imputed to have played a role.
    Using concrete examples (I can't emphasize this enough!) from the lectures, readings and films for this course, argue which of these (or other( factors were most important in allowing the Holocaust to happen.
    A good answer might show how different factors were more or less important at different times. It would not only argue why some factors were important, but also why the others were less so (dealing with counterarguments and evidence).
  2. In lecture 3 I outlined several ways in which the Nazi era related to the rest of German history (special paths; long, middle and short term) (web version only: outline and diagram w/o lines). Using concrete examples from the course, argue the pros and cons of these ways in explaining how the Holocaust could happen.
    A good answer will link aspects of each explanation with the various aspects of the Holocaust as an evolving solution. It might also discuss the implications of each explanation for the consequences/lessons we draw from the Holocaust.
  3. 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?
  4. Germans from all walks of life had different reasons for behaving in ways that contributed to different aspects of the Holocaust. From the material for this course (readings, lectures, films, visitor), give at least four examples for various types of behavior, discussing the motivations for each one, and how they contributed to the Holocaust. Be sure to use several concrete examples to back up your argument for each one.
    A good essay will include a discussion of situational factors as well as socialization and personality types, and it will discuss how the same of similar factors might work in opposite ways.