UCSB GE Freshman Seminar, Winter 2003
The Nazi Holocaust in History, Literature and Film

Prof. Marcuse
Feb. 6, 2003

Week 4 Handout: Europa, Europa Questions; Topics

  1. Europa, Europa
    1. What motivates the victims to behave as they do?
    2. What motivates the perpetrators?
    3. Representation: memoir vs. film. Truth vs. impact.
    4. Identity: WHO is Solly? How can we say? When & why does identity become stable?
  2. Assignment for Tuesday: brainstorm topics

World War II & the Holocaust: Timeline

Political developments


1918: end of World War I; socialist revolution


1920: Hitler helps formulate German Workers Party platform with strong antisem. elements; renamed to National Socialist German Workers Party

1923: hyperinflation; NSDAP attempts a coup d’etat


1925-28: good economic years


1930: Great Depression hits Germany, NSDAP makes first electoral gains


1933: Jan-March: Hitler named and elected chancellor
Apr-June: Communist, Socialist, Center parties dissolved

1933: April: first measures agains Jews: boycott of businesses; expulsion from civil service.

1934: does away with rivals within Nazi party

1934: various infringements on personal & civil rights

1935-38: good years, economically, foreign policy successes

1935: Nuremberg laws define who is a Jew; policy of emigration

1938-39: move toward war, invasion and conquest of Poland

1938: November: Kristallnacht pogroms

1940: invasions of Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Britain

1939-40: creation of ghettos for Jews in Poland

1941: June invasion of Soviet Union;
Dec. war with USA (after Pearl Harbor)
army advance stagnates during Russian winter

1941: first massacres of Polish Jews (Jedwabne in July)
Sept: 30,000 Jews murdered in 2 days at Babi Yar near Kiev

1942: rapid advance, stagnates in November

1942: murder factories set up; ¾ of all victims killed

1943: 6th German army surrenders at Stalingrad
"Total War": use of victims as slave laborers

1943: October: uprising at Sobibor (August at Treblinka)

1944: proliferation of sub-concentration camps for labor

1944: peak rate at Auschwitz murder factory in summer

1945: Allied armies begin advancing within Germany proper; Reich crumbles rapidly

1945: huge death toll due to disease and starvation; evacuation "death" marches.