Political Science | Holocaust Genocide & Politics
Y352 | 3778 | Bielasiak


This course confronts the issue of individual and collective
responsibility for crimes against humanity, both during and after the
Holocaust.  The first part covers the political antecedents and
ideological arguments concerning the "Jewish question" and the
evolution of the Final Solution.  The second part addresses the
question of responsibility from the vantage of perpetrators, victims,
and bystanders during the Holocaust.  The third part looks to the
impact of the Holocaust on post-war ethical and political
considerations.   This final segment of the course looks at recent
examples of genocide to reflect on the question of the world's
dehumanization in the 20th century.
	We will use a variety of sources, historical studies and
survivors' testimonies, documentary and fictional accounts, films and
poems.  In particular, we will rely on documentary films that deal
with the issue of mass murder and responsibility.  Class assignments
will go beyond the typical examinations so that we can personalize
the issues through reaction essays, first-person narratives, and
policy memos.  To accomplish these goals, attendance is expected at
all class sessions.  Our aim is not only to understand the Holocaust
and genocide, but also to account for the tragedy in a way that
confronts our humanity and our commitments to become more than
bystanders to history.