Course Schedule: Monday 5-8, with occasional tutorials, 7-8
Instructor: Richard Menkis
Office location: Buchanan C223
Office phone: (604) 822-1374
Office hours: Monday: 11-12; Tuesday and Thursday. 11:15-noon, or by appointment.
Teaching Assistant: Mr Rafael Weiner
TA Office hours: Monday 3-4, or by appointment.
TA Office: Brock Hall annex, Rm. 2355
E-mail addresses: <email@example.com >;
NOTE ABOUT EMAIL: In your correspondence with me, please include in the subject line HIST 441. I will try to answer your email within 24 hours (except weekends), but if I do not, please resend it.
In this course we examine the attempt to destroy European Jewry during the Nazi regime. We survey the major steps in the emergence of the "Final Solution," and examine the reactions of the victims as well as the role of the bystanders. We will emphasize the historiographic issues related to research in the Holocaust. These issues include: the changing interpretations of the motivations of the perpetrators; the behaviours of the victims, both in the camps and outside; the use of evidence, including the testimonies of survivors; the cultural contexts of changing interpretations of the Holocaust. The questions that accompany each week of readings suggest some of the major themes for that week, but students are encouraged to raise other questions.
Prerequisites There are no prerequisites, although some background in European and/or Jewish history would certainly be helpful.
Dwork, Deborah and Robert Jan van Pelt. Holocaust: A History (D&vP)
Course booklet (CB) at bookstore for HIST 441. All readings which are not in D&vP, or listed as ejournals, can be found in the course booklet.
Journal articles not in CB, or with URL provided, are online at the UBC library. For access, see http://services.library.ubc.ca/personal-computers/connect-from-home/, if you are still having difficulty, please contact the library.
*Sharpen critical thinking by the study of
-debates among historians on perpetrators, victims and bystanders;
-the strengths and weaknesses of various primary sources (including photographs and
-debates on how to write the history of the Holocaust, and how to represent it in museums, memorials, etc. *Improve written and oral skills, by reviews and group discussions.
Course requirements (see outline for exact dates)
TWO reviews, app. 1500 words each 60%
1 final exam 30%
For the reviews, including information on submitting a draft, see the details with the list of books, p. 7.
The exam will consist of three sections. The first will include identifications of some of the crucial individuals/events examined in the class. In the second last week of class, I will hand out a list of about forty notable terms and individuals. The identifications will be drawn from this list. The second part of the examination will be short answers. These will focus on smaller issues, such as those discussed in an individual week, or in one of the articles assigned. These first two sections will represent 50 percent of the final grade. The final question (value: 50 percent) will address some of the larger themes in the course, and you will be expected to draw on the lectures, readings and discussions of many weeks.
The participation mark will be based on participation informed by the readings.
I expect the reading to be completed for each class. I am providing questions with the weekly assignments. Consider these as you do the readings, and be prepared to discuss your answers in class. Any additional questions are most welcome!
From the Calendar: Grades are not official until they appear on a student's academic record.
From the calendar: Regular attendance is expected of students in all their classes (including lectures, laboratories, tutorials, seminars, etc.). Students who neglect their academic work and assignments may be excluded from the final examinations. Students who are unavoidably absent because of illness or disability should report to their instructors on return to classes.
The University accommodates students with disabilities who have registered with the Disability Resource Centre. The University also accommodates students whose religious obligations conflict with attendance, submitting assignments, or completing scheduled tests and examinations. Please let me know in advance, preferably in the first week of class, if you will require any accommodation on these grounds. Students who plan to be absent for varsity athletics, family obligations, or other similar commitments, cannot assume that they will be accommodated, and should discuss their commitments with me before the drop date.
Late assignments: Any student who submits late work, or who misses examinations, must have a medical reason, and provide of documentation from a health professional. The penalty for late assignments is 5% per day.
Academic Dishonesty: Please review the UBC Calendar "Academic regulations"
for the university policy on cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty..
Students should retain a copy of all submitted assignments and should retain all their marked assignments in case they wish to apply for a Review of Assigned Standing.
WK DATE TOPIC COMMENTS
1 09 Sept. Background: Jewish Life in Europe
2 16 Sept Modern Antisemitism; Fascism
3 23 Sept. Nazi Policies & Jewish Lives, 1933-36 TUTORIAL/27 SEPT-OPTIONAL DRAFT DUE
4 30 Sept. Nazi Policies & Jewish Lives, 1936-39/Bystanders TUTORIAL
5 07 Oct. Nazi Policies, 1939-1941 & Jewish Life in Ghettos 1ST REVIEW DUE
Exhibit at Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, 950 West 41st Ave. “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945,” October 29-December 4, 2013. As a “make-up” for classes missed because of holidays on Mondays, I have arranged for a viewings of the exhibition, on Sunday November 17, in two “shifts”, either from 11:00-12:30, or 12:30 to 2:00. For information on the Centre, see http://www.vhec.org.
Annual Kristallnacht Lecture, “Traumatized Generations? A Historian’s Perspective on the Children and Grandchildren of Survivors.” Temple Sholom, 7190 Oak Street, 3 November 2013, 7pm.
1 09 Sept.-Background: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe
Discussion of course syllabus and course requirements.
Background on Jewish life in Eastern Europe.
Questions/Topics for review
Was Polish Jewry a "unified" Jewish community in the interwar period? What were the sources of unity and disunity in the Jewish community?
2 16 Sept.-Modern Antisemitism/Fascism
D&vP, caps. 1-2.
Questions/Topics for review
What were the meanings of emancipation for the Jews of western Europe, and what were the political, social and cultural implications for relations between Jews and non-Jews? Contrast anti-Jewish attitudes of the late 19th century with the hostility towards Jews and Judaism before that time.
What successes did Fascism achieve in the 1920s? Why did many Europeans support fascism?
3 23 Sept.-Nazi Policies and Jewish Lives, 1933-5
D&vP, caps. 3-4.
Friedländer, Saul. "The Spirit of the Laws." Nazi Germany and the Jews. New York, 1997. Pp. 147-173. (CB)
Holocaust Encyclopedia s.v. "Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich." http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005261
Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941. New York, 1999. Pp. 133-137. (CB)
Young, James. "Towards a Received History of the Holocaust." History and Theory 36,4 (Dec., 1997).
Questions/Topics for review
What were the major purposes of the Nuremberg legislation?
What were the effects of the Nuremberg Laws on the lives of the Jews? On the basis of your reading of Klemperer, would you emphasize some issues not discussed in D&vP or in Friedländer?
What issues does Young raise about writing Holocaust history, and what strengths and weaknesses does he see in the work by Friedländer? On the basis of your reading, do you agree with Young’s evaluation?
4 30 Sept.-Nazi Policies and Jewish lives, 1936-1939/Bystanders
Weitzman, Lenore J. and Dalia Ofer. "Introduction." Women in the Holocaust. Ed. Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman. New Haven, 1998. Pp. 1-16.(CB)
Kaplan, Marion A. "The November Pogrom and its Aftermath" Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany. New York and Oxford, 1998. Pp. 119-144. (CB)
Holocaust Encyclopedia, s.v."Roma (Gypsies) in Pre-war Europe." http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005395
D&vP, cap. 5.
Abella, Irving and Harold M. Troper. "The Line Must be Drawn Somewhere." Canadian Historical Review 60, 2 (1979).
Questions/Topics for review
In the view of Weitzman and Ofer, what have been the issues in researching the issue of gender and the Holocaust?
What, in your view, has Kaplan contributed to the study of the Holocaust by focusing explicitly on gender? Is there a marked difference in approach between Kaplan and Friedländer?
What were the pressures for and against a pro-Refugee stance in Canada?
5 07 October: Nazi Policies & Jewish Life in the Ghettos, 1939-41
D&vP, caps. 6,7.
Trunk, Isaiah. "The Emergence of the Jewish Councils and Their Composition." Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi Occupation. New York, 1972. Pp. 14-35. (CB)
Hilberg, Raul et al., eds. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow. New York, 1979. Pp. 284-303. (CB)
Katsh, Abraham I., ed. The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan. New York, 1965. Pp. 265-280. (CB)
Dawidowicz, Lucy S., ed. [Sources from the Warsaw Ghetto.] A Holocaust, Reader. New York, 1976. Pp.193-208. (CB)
Questions/Topics for review
Analyze the regional variations in treatment of the Jews, paying attention to local attitudes towards the Jews and to the geo-racial politics of the Nazis towards Europe and Europeans.
What were the tasks of the Judenrat?
What changes took place in Warsaw in late 1941, and how did the two diarists experience them?
6 21 October “Final Solution”, 1941-5
D&vP, caps. 10-11.
Holocaust Encyclopedia, s.v."Genocide of European Roma (Gypsies) 1939-1945." http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005219
Panayi, Panikos. "The Case of German Romanies: The Case of Osnabrück." Patterns of Prejudice 37,4 (Dec. 2003): 377-399.
Lautmann, Ruediger. "Gay Prisoners in Concentration Camps, as Compared with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Political Prisoners." A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by Nazis. Ed. Michael Berenbaum. New York and London, 1990. Pp. 200-206. (CB)
Questions/Topics for review
What is the value of comparative studies for the study of the Holocaust?
7 28 October-The ‘Final Solution,’ and Jewish Responses1941-1945
D&vP, cap. 14.
Des Pres, Terrence. "Excremental Assault." The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps. Oxford, 1976. Pp. 53-71. (CB)
Levi, Primo. "The Grey Zone." The Drowned and the Saved. (CB)
Marrus, Michael R. "Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust." Journal of Contemporary History 30,1 (Jan. 1995): 83-110.
Questions/Topics for review
Can there be an historical analysis of Jewish behaviour in extremis, i.e. one which places the behaviours in context? Which context(s) would you suggest?
What, if any, were the factors that distinguished Jewish resistance from other forms of resistance during the Second World War?
8 04 November- Survivors &Testimony
Draper, Paula J. "Canadian Holocaust Survivors: From Liberation to Rebirth," Canadian Jewish Studies/Études juives canadiennes 4-5 (1996-1997): 39-62.
Waisman, Robbie. "A Child Survivor in Western Canada," Canadian Jewish Studies Études juives canadiennes 4-5 (1996-1997): 125-134.
Novick, Peter. "We are not Equipped to Answer." From his The Holocaust in American Life. Boston, New York, 1999. Pp. 267-281, 349-352. (Read notes carefully!) (CB)
Questions/Topics for review
What does survivor testimony contribute to our understanding of the Holocaust? What are the forces behind the "creation" of survivor testimony? What is the proper way to use survivor testimony?
What are the concerns addressed by Novick on survivor testimony in specific (and Holocaust commemoration in general), and do you consider them legitimate?
9 18 November-Guest lecture
Prof. Margarete Myers Feinstein (UCLA), on Holocaust Survivors in postwar Germany
D&vP, 12 and 13 (in preparation for week 10-get a headstart this week)
10 25 November-Bystanders/Reflections
D&vP, 12 and 13, epilogue.
Marrus, Michael R. "Getting it Right: A Historian Thinking of the Holocaust." From Beyond Imagination: Canadians Write about the Holocaust. Ed. Jerry S. Grafstein. Toronto, 1995. Pp. 20-33. (CB)
LaCapra, Dominick. "Conclusion: Acting-Out and Working-Through." In his Representing the Holocaust: History, Theory, Trauma (Ithaca and London, 1994.) Pp. 205-223. (CB) Questions/Topics for review
For Marrus and LaCapra, what are the responsibilities of scholars in studying the Holocaust? Do you see points of reconciliation between the two?
From your reading: In your opinion which historians have been most successful in their study of the historical events of the Holocaust? How have they addressed, either implicitly or explicitly, the concerns of Marrus and LaCapra?
HISTORY 441 -BOOK REVIEWS
You have been assigned two book reviews. (See schedule). You must choose one from list A, and the other from list B, but it does NOT matter in what order. IF YOU WISH TO REVIEW A BOOK NOT ON THIS LIST, YOU MUST GET MY APPROVAL IN WRITING (i.e. send an email with your request, and append my email approval to your paper).
You can submit a draft by the draft due dates on the course schedule, page 2. We will return your draft one week before the due date for the final version. You can raise your grade a maximum of TEN PERCENT from the grade you received on the draft.
The website of the University of Toronto’s History Department has an excellent set of guidelines for writing a review. See
http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/book-review At the end of those guidelines (paragraph beginning "Some reviews summarize ….") you will see brief mention of options for writing a review. I prefer the method of summarizing the book and then evaluating it. At the risk of repetition, I re-emphasize the point that this is NOT a summary, but a critical evaluation. Here is the template I will use for grading:
/10-Clear identification of the thesis of the book?
/20-Clear demonstration of how the author develops the argument in the book?
/60-Clear discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the book? (Was the book well researched? Adequate sources, and good use of sources? Consistent and convincing argument? Well expressed?)
/10-Quality of your writing: Cleary expressed? Proofread?
All of the following books are in the UBC Library system. Some are also at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, (at the Jewish Community Centre) and at the Vancouver Public Library (especially the Central Branch). Please note: You cannot expect to renew your book, as another may have placed a hold on it.
A. ANTISEMITISM AND HOLOCAUST
Allen, Michael Thad. The Business of Genocide: The SS, slave labor, and the concentration camps. Chapel Hill, 2002.
Aly, Götz. Final Solution: Nazi Population Policy and the Murder of European Jews. New York, 1999.
Aly, Götz. Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War and the Nazi Welfare State. New York, 2006.
Bankier, David. The Germans and the Final Solution: Public Opinion under Nazism. Oxford, 1992.
Bartov, Omer. Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis and War in the Third Reich. New York, 1991.
Bartrop, Paul R. Australia and the Holocaust, 1933-1945. Melbourne, 1994.
Bauer, Yehuda. Jews For Sale? Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945. New Haven, 1994.
Baumel, Judith Tydor. Double Jeopardy: Gender and the Holocaust. London, 1998.
Berkhoff, Karel C. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in the Ukraine under Nazi Rule. Cambridge MA, 2004.
Blatman, Daniel. The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide. Cambridge MA, 2011.
Blatman, Daniel. For our Freedom and Yours: The Jewish Labour Bund in Poland, 1939-1949. London, 2003.
Bolchover, Richard. British Jewry and the Holocaust. Cambridge, 1993.
Breitman, Richard. Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew. New York, 1998.
Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. Hanover, N.H., 1991.
Breitman, Richard and Allan J. Lichtman. FDR and the Jews. Cambridge, MA., 2013.
Browning, Christopher. Remembering Survival: Inside a nazi slave-labor camp. New York, 2011.
Brustein, William. The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933. New Haven, 1996.
Burrin, Philippe. Hitler and the Jews: The Genesis of the Holocaust. London, 1994.
Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. Hanover, N.H., 1994.
Davies, Alan T. and Marilyn F. Nefsky. How Silent were the Churches? Canadian Protestantism and the Jewish Plight during the Nazi Era. Waterloo, 1997
Dean, Martin. Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-1944. New York, 1999.
Dwork, Debórah. Children with a Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe. New Haven and London, 1991.
Engel, David. Facing a Holocaust: The Polish Government-in-Exile and the Jews, 1943-1945. Chapel Hill, 1993.
Ericksen, Robert P. Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany. New York, 2012.
Favez, Jean-Claude. The Red Cross and the Holocaust. Cambridge, UK, 1999.
Feingold, Henry L. Bearing Witness: How America and its Jews Responded to the Holocaust. Syracuse, 1995.
Friedlander, Henry. The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution. Chapel Hill, 1995.
Friedman, Jonathan C. The Lion and the Star: Gentile-Jewish Relations in three Hessian Communities, 1941-1945. Lexington, 1998.
Fulbrook, Mary. A Small Town Near Auschwitz: Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust. Oxford, 2012.
Gilman, Sander. The Jew’s Body. New York and London, 1991.
Gorny, Yosef. The Jewish Press and the Holocaust, 1939-1945: Palestine, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union. New York, 2012.
Gottlieb, Amy Zahl. Men of Vision: Anglo-Jewry’s Aid to Victims of the Nazi Regime, 1933-1945. London, 1998.
Gruner, Wolf. Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis: Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938-1944. New York, 2006.
Herczl, Moshe Y. Christianity and the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry. New York, 1993.
Herf, Jeffrey. The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Cambridge, Mass., 2006.
Warren, Donald. Charles Coughlin: The Father of Hate Radio. New York, 1996.
Wasserstein, Bernard. Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945. New York, 1979.
Weiner, Marc A. Richard Wagner and the Anti-Semitic Imagination. Lincoln and London, 1995
Weisberg, Richard H. Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France. New York, 1996.
Zuccotti, Susan. The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews. New York, 1993.
B. INTERPRETATIONS, USE AND ABUSE OF EVIDENCE, REPRESENTATIONS AND POSTWAR
Bar-On, Dan. The Indescribable and the Undiscussable: Reconstructing Human Discourse after Trauma. Budapest, 1999.
Bartov, Omer. Murder in our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing and Representation. New York, 1996.
Baumel, Judith Tydor. Kibbutz Buchenwald: Survivors and Pioneers. New Brunswick, N.J., 1997.
Bergen, Bernard J. The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt and the "Final Solution." Latham, 1998.
Bernstein, Richard J. Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question. Cambridge, 1996.
Bialystok, Franklin. Delayed Impact: The Holocaust and the Canadian Jewish Community. Montreal, 2000.
Bloxham, Donald. Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory. Oxford, 2001.
Carrier, Peter. Holocaust Monuments and National Memory Cultures in France and German since 1989: The Origins and Political Function of the Vél d’Hiv’ in Paris and the Holocaust Monument in Berlin. New York, 2005.
Cesarani, David. Justice Delayed: How Britain became a Refuge for Nazi War Criminals. London, 1992.
Clenninden, Inga. Reading the Holocaust. New York, 1999.
Cohen, Beth. Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in postwar America. New Brunswick, NJ, 2007.
Cohen, Boaz. Israeli Holocaust Research: Birth and Evolution. Abingdon, 2013.
Confino, Alon. Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust and Historical Understanding. Cambridge, UK, 2012.
Dean, Carolyn. Aversion and erasure: the fate of the victim after the Holocaust. Ithaca, 2010.
Diner, Hasia R. We remember with reverence and love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962. New York, 2009.
Engel, David. Historians of the Jews and the Holocaust. Stanford, 2010.