Starts: Oct 28, 2013 9:30:00 AM
May 7, 2013 1:00:00 PM
End: May 17, 2013 7:30:00 PM
Location: various venues, UCL Bloomsbury Campus More...
The panel investigates shifts in the role of the Holocaust in European public debates in the recent past. Contrasting developments in Poland, Germany, and Great Britain, we will identify common threads as well as differences in perceiving, presenting, memorizing the mass murder of European Jewries.
The Yiddish Forverts has recently published a report from the Graduate Student Conference on ‘Jewish Spirituality in Eastern Europe – a Textual Perspective,’ held at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL on 6-7 June, 2012. The article, authored by conference participant Adi Mahalel (Columbia University), is available online on the website of the Forverts: http://yiddish.forward.com/node/4589 More...
Over a period of three years, the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at UCL has been cooperating in a research project devoted to 'Cultural Continuitiy in the Diaspora: Paris and Berlin in 1917-1937', based at the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath, and in cooperation with the Centre for European and International Studies at the University of Portsmouth. The project had been funded by the Leverhulme Trust Academic Collaboration-International Network scheme. Among the initiators of the project had been the late John D. Klier. More...
Donate to the Department by clicking on the button below:
HEBR7711 European Jewry and the Holocaust
HEBR7711 for Undergraduates and Full-year Junior Year Abroad (JYA) students
HEBR7711A for first term JYA students
HEBR7711B for second term JYA students
Professor Michael Berkowitz
Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL
326 Foster Court
Phone: 0207-679-2814; internal: 3-2814
Office hours: Mondays, 0830-1030 and by appointment
Mode of assessment:
Three 2,500 word essays for undergraduate and full JYA abroad students
One 5,000-6,000 word essay for one term JYA students
In terms 1 and 2
||Tuesdays, 1100-1300 in Roberts 105A|
This course investigates the history of the systematic mass
murder of Europe's Jews during World War II commonly known as the Holocaust.
The main questions with which we shall be concerned are: how was it possible
for a modern state to initiate and carry out the destruction of European Jewry?
How did the Jews actually live in Eastern and Western Europe prior to the
attempt to annihilate them? How might one characterize the Jews' experiences of
life and death in the Holocaust? How did the policies and actions toward the
Jews fit into the context of the history of the Second World War? How does the
Holocaust fit into German history and historiography? How did Nazi racism
affect other European communities? What does the Holocaust mean for the
persistence of Jewish life in Europe?
underpinnings of Hitler's Germany, and the aspects of the western world that
assisted, acquiesced, or opposed the "Final Solution" will be
emphasized. Special attention will be devoted to the intersection of culture
and politics, as it relates to European Jewish history, Nazi antisemitism, and
how media has been used to transmit and modify the legacy of the Holocaust.
process of destruction is at the center of this course, in order to put this
into context it is essential to explore more general developments in German
history, European history, and Jewish history. In other words, the course will
not exclusively be focused on the horrors of mass shootings, extermination and
concentration camps. We also will delve into various historiographic
controversies in order to see how scholars have sought to understand the
The main purpose of the course is to provide a narrative of the principle circumstances and events leading to and comprising the Holocaust, and to have students think more analytically, critically, and historically about the Jewish people and the conditions that made possible the Holocaust.
Important historical background will be provided in evening lectures held under the auspices of the Institute for Jewish Studies, which students are expected to attend.
For undergraduates the assessment (grading) for the course is based on a final examination (70%) and three essays of 2,500 words, following the criteria of the departmental "Style Sheet for Student Essays." There is one important addition regarding citations: in your footnotes or endnotes, please include the publisher as well as the place of publication.
students who are enrolled for one term will write one essay of 5-6000 words.
MA students will be evaluated separately from undergraduates.
- Bernard Wasserstein, On the Eve: The Jews of Europe before the Second World War
- Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones, trans. Charlotte Mendel [novel]
- I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1933-1941, trans. Martin Chalmers
- To the Bitter End: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1942-45, trans. Martin Chalmers
- Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
- Saul Friedlander, When Memory Comes [memoir]
- Peter Fritzsche, Life and Death in the Third Reich
- Samuel Kassow, Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive
- Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, rev. ed. (2003)
- Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz [memoir] (trans. Stuart Woolf)
- Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
- Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, trans. William Weaver [novel]
- Avraham Tory, Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary
- Saul Friedlander, The Years of Persecution: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939 (vol. 1)
- Strongly suggested for background: John Efron, ed., The Jews: A History
In addition to the UCL and Senate House libraries, books also are available at the Wiener Library, 4 Devonshire Street, the British Library, St. Pancras, and the Institute of Historical Research. If you are unable to locate books locally, it is strongly suggested that you use internet bookstores in order to purchase books. The vast majority of books for the course are available in paperback. Used copies are often available.
Below is a tentative schedule for class meetings:
Tuesday 16 October 2012
||Introductions; the problematic split between Judaism and Christianity and the emergence of anti-Semitism as a component of Christianity.|
Tuesday 23 October 2012
||Varieties of Jewish existence; myths versus realities of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and after 1881; turn-of-the century convulsions.|
|Tuesday 6 November 2012||
Jewry in Central and Western Europe; anti-Semitism in the 19th and early 20th centuries; from religious-based to 'modern' anti-Semitism.
|Tuesday 13 November 2012||
Social and economic life of German Jewry; the "Renaissance" of Jewish culture in Weimar Germany
Tuesday 20 November 2012
The First World War and its relationship to the Holocaust; the consequences of the peace; the structural weaknesses of the Weimar Republic.
Tuesday 27 November 2012
||Jewry in Eastern Europe between the Wars.|
|Tuesday 4 December 2012||
Hitler's Weltanschauung and entry into politics; German Jewry under the Nazis.
Tuesday 11 December 2012
||The Nazi rise to power and the road to war; early concentration camps.|
First essay, due before class--submit in the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department Office, 318 Foster Court: approximately 2,500 words, typed, double-spaced, and proof-read.
EXCLUSIVELY on the basis of I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, Peter Fritzsche’s study, Life and Death in the Third Reich, Bernard Wasserstein's On the Eve, and Doris Bergen’s comprehensive text, comment on the question: “To what extent does Klemperer keenly perceive the treatment of German Jewry in its evolving historical context?”
First term JYA students must also use Saul Friedlander, The Years of Persecution: Nazi Germany and the Jews (vol. 1), for an essay of 5-6000 words.
JYA STUDENTS, FOR THE SECOND TERM ONLY, WILL SELECT ONE OF THE THREE ESSAY OPTIONS
Tuesday 8 January 2013
||Preconditions for the Holocaust; the context of the Second World War.|
|Tuesday 15 January 2013||
Major Nazi figures and the decision for the "Final Solution"; Ghettoization.
Tuesday 22 January 2013
||Film: "Image before My Eyes: A History of Jewish Life in Poland Before the Holocaust".|
Tuesday 29 January 2013
|Tuesday 5 February 2013||
Einsatzgruppen; the decimation of Lithuanian Jewry; the case of Estonia.
Tuesday 19 February 2013
||Chelmno; Operation Reinhard.|
Tuesday 26 February 2013
||Operation Reinhard; Auschwitz.|
Second essay, due before class--submit in the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department Office, 318 Foster Court: approximately 2,500 words, typed, double-spaced, and proof-read.
EXCLUSIVELY on the basis of Samuel Kassow’s Who Will Write Our History? Doris Bergen’s text, Raul Hilberg's history, and Primo Levi's Survival at Auschwitz, reflect on efforts of Ringelblum and Levi to consider the extent to which Nazism compelled Jews to behave in a way where previous moral absolutes no longer seemed to operate.
Second term JYA students must also use Avraham Tory, Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary, for an essay of 5-6000 words.
Tuesday 5 March 2013
||Operation Reinhard; Nazi occupied Western Europe; Jewish resistance.|
Tuesday 12 March 2013
||The Balkans; problems of history and historiography; women, the churches, gypsies and homosexuals.|
Tuesday 19 March 2013
||The United States, Britain, and the "neutrals;" Palestine and the demonization of Zionism; DPs.|
Third essay, due before class--submit in the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department Office, 318 Foster Court: approximately 2,500 words, typed, double-spaced, and proof-read.
EXCLUSIVELY ON THE BASIS of To the Bitter End: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1942-45, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Smoke over Birkenau by Liana Millu, and the text by Doris Bergen, comment on the possibility of creating or maintaining solidarity among Jews in the midst of Nazi persecution.
In light of the Nazi mind as explored in Jonathan Littell's novel, The Kindly Ones, and Raul Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews, to what extent did Anne Frank, Liana Millu, and Giogrio Bassani, and Emmanuel Ringelblum seem to comprehend the intentions and acts of the perpetrators?
Essays of second term JYA students must be 5,000 to 6,000 words.
General instructions for essays
Papers must be double-spaced, typed, and proof-read, with approximately 250 words per page. ALL ESSAYS SHOULD FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES OF THE DEPARTMENTAL STYLE SHEET, WITH ONE IMPORTANT ADDITION: PLEASE INDICATE THE PUBLISHER, AS WELL AS THE PLACE OF PUBLICATION, IN YOUR CITATION.
For a number of
reasons the use of the internet for this particular course is problematic. Should you use any information from the
internet, however, be particularly careful in citing sources, websites, and
sponsoring organizations as specifically as possible. There will be a
zero-tolerance policy for cases of plagiarism. In most cases you are better off
using books, as opposed to internet sites, for reference.
Evaluation of your papers will focus first on the breadth and depth of the historical analysis and the cogency of the interpretation. Your paper must demonstrate a careful reading of the required books in their entirety. In addition, the quality of the English prose is an important factor in the determination of the grade. Papers should be written in formal, grammatical English. Sentence fragments, spelling mistakes, typographical errors, misplaced modifiers, faulty punctuation, contractions, and colloquialisms (among other errors) all distract and confuse the reader. Consequently, papers containing an excessive number of these mistakes--more than two per page--will be graded down. All quotations and paraphrases from the works of others must be cited appropriately, using formal footnotes or endnotes, or the abbreviated format as specified. You must be consistent with whatever form you use. It is strongly encouraged to concentrate on the required texts rather than consulting outside books. When citing the required readings, it is possible to use an abbreviated footnote system: the author's name followed by the page number in parentheses. If you do bring in another source, it must be formally, completely footnoted. Failure to cite sources constitutes plagiarism, a serious infraction of university rules.
You are strongly
encouraged to read your paper, either to yourself or a companion, out loud. It
is imperative that your paper be carefully proof-read before turning it in.
Please make sure that your printer prints dark enough.
Always "save" frequently and keep a hard-copy of the paper for yourself. You are also required to keep copies of all notes related to your work, including material from the internet.