UCSB Hist 33D, Fall 2003
The Holocaust: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
HSSB 1174, T-Th 11:00-12:15; Buchanan 1920, T 6:30-8:50

Prof. Marcuse
HSSB 4221, 893-2635
Office hours: Tues. 1-2, Wed. 1-2

The Holocaust: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Course syllabus
(pdf version for printing)

Course Description and Goals

This course is designed for undergraduates of all disciplines (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts) with no prior college-level coursework in history. It has two goals: to introduce students to the history of one of the most complex and troubling events of the 20th century, and to explore some of the ways scholars in different disciplines have attempted to explain it.

I understand the Nazi Holocaust to be the development and systematic implementation of a program to eradicate, to murder entire groups of people. This course begins with an examination of several case studies that raise the question of causation: Why did those events transpire as they did? We will examine various attempts to answer this question by scholars in different disciplines, comparing, assessing, and combining different perspectives to come up with one of our own.

Your Contribution (course requirements):

  1. Attendance at all classes, including the evening films and afternoon panel, and the Nov. 2 field trip. Why take a course if you don't take the time to learn what it teaches? Lectures include images, video clips and discussion not available elsewhere. I will call roll to learn your names. (10 pts.)
  2. Four questions in lieu of a midterm examination. You will write a short paragraph on a simple question about the assigned readings, speakers or films, roughly once every two weeks. These will be announced one lecture in advance. (4x4=16 pts.)
  3. Access to the internet. Using the internet is an integral part of this course. Priority access stickers for the campus computer labs are available on Thu 9/25 and Fri 9/26, 9am-4pm outside of Phelps 1523 (afterwards in Phelps 1523 at the help desk). Bring your schedule or syllabus as proof of enrollment. You must also sign up for the course listserv, hist33d@history.ucsb.edu, at: https://mail.lsit.ucsb.edu/mailman/listinfo.cgi/hist33d.
  4. A journal with 1-2 entries per week, for a total of 8 entries. Each entry, averaging 450 words, will be based on your thoughts about newspaper or magazine articles that you relate to the course, or about the lectures, course readings or outside events. (For details, see the blue "Hist 33D Journal and Project Assignment" handout.) (8x4=32 pts.)
  5. A final project, to be published on the internet. Topics and form will be chosen in consultation with the professor. This includes a proposal (due 10/14), draft (due 10/30) and final version (due 11/20). For more details, see the blue handout. Group projects are encouraged. Half of the project grade will be based on the overall quality of the project, half on each student's individual contribution. (10+10=20 pts.)
  6. A two-hour final examination will have 3 IDs chosen from 5, and one essay question from a choice of two. A study guide will be distributed in early December. Students whose final projects receive a a B+ or above may elect to take an oral final examination. (12+10=22 pts.)

Required Readings

  • Textbook: Enzo Collotti, The Nazi Holocaust (1999), $8-15.
  • Reflections: Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor's Tale, vols. I & II (1986, 1991), $17-22 for combined ed.
  • Reader: packet of photocopied articles, available at the UCSB Library Copy Services (2nd floor), 255 pages, ca. $20.

is on a point system. You can accumulate up to 100 points, distributed as follows:
participation: 10%; 4 questions: 16%; journal: 32%; final exam: 22% ; final project 20%
Late work will be graded down one point per day. Call or e-mail me in advance if you must be absent.

Schedule of Lectures

Week 1

Sept. 22
Sept. 22
Sept. 25

Introduction: On Elephants, Fruit Salad & Smoothies
6:30-9pm, Buch. 1920: Triumph of the Will
My Research on Dachau

R1,2: Riefenstahl (4pp.) (link)
Tuesday eve. film and discussion
R3: Marcuse (14pp.)

Week 2

Sept. 30

Oct. 2

Adolf Hitler from Orphan to Chancellor, 1889-1925
6: 30: Films The Wave, Life of Adolf Hitler
19320s: Golden or BlackLeaden?

textbook, pp. 8-67

textbook, pp. 69-115

Week 3

Oct. 7

Oct. 9

Jewish Life in the 1930s 2 journal entries due
6:30: Kristallnacht (90mins) OR M2A dinner
Kristallnacht, November 1938

Maus, vol. 1

R4: Friedländer (13pp.)

Week 4

Oct. 14

Oct. 16

From Eugenics to Euthanasia proposals due
6:30: Selling Murder, Nazi Designers of Death
Auschwitz, 1890-1942, discussion of Maus

R5: Markle 108-127
texbook, 117-135
Maus, vol.2; R6,7: Höss, Fest

Week 5

Oct. 19
Oct. 21

Oct. 23

Sunday, 3pm, Corwin: "100 Little Hitlers"
Rudolf Höss and Adolf Eichmann
6:30: Wannsee Conference / Milgram
Reserve Police Battalion 101

attend afternoon lecture
R8,9: Roseman (34pp), Markle 63-98
R10,11,12: Markle 42-61,
Browning (15pp.), Goldhagen (60pp)

Week 6

Oct. 28

Oct. 30

Collaboration: Judenrat and Ghetto Police
6:30: Escape from Sobibor (120 mins.)
Jews who resisted project drafts due

R13,14: Rumkowski, Perechodnik (27p)

R15,16: Raschke, Blatt (47pp)

Week 7

Nov. 2
Nov. 4

Nov. 6

Sunday: LA Holocaust Museums, 8am-6pm.
Germans who resisted
6:30: NO evening event
Discussion with a Holocaust Survivor
3-6pm, HSSB 6th floor: "Portraits of Survival"

Marcuse, on-line essay; directions.
textbook 137-151.

See Oral History Project website
Attend afternoon panel

Week 8

Nov. 11

Nov. 12

No class, Veterans' Day

Art in Fascism / Art about Fascism

R17, 18: Sontag (22pp.) 

Week 9

Nov. 18

Nov. 20

How the Holocaust didn't Happen: Denial
6:30: Korczak
or Anne Frank and the World
Anne Frank, Author final projects due

R19: Grobman/Shermer (20pp.)

R20-24: Anne Frank+essays

Week 10

Nov. 25
Nov. 27

and 11/24: Group consultations about web projects
No class, Thanksgiving break

schedule an appointment w/ prof.

Week 11

Dec. 2

Concluding lecture, discussion and presentations
6:30: presentations

exam study guide on web site


Dec. 9

Tuesday, 12noon-2pm: Final Examination

Bring a large blue book

Plagiarism—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 will report offenses to the appropriate university authorities for disciplinary action.

Cell phone policy: cell phones ringing in class continues to be an annoyance and distraction. If your cell phone rings during my lecture, I will stop the lecture, answer the call, and take a message for you.

prepared for web by H. Marcuse, Sept. 22, 2003, updated: Oct. 5, 03; formatting 3/25/05
back to top, Hist 33D homepage, Courses page; Prof. Marcuse's homepage