Jewish Studies | Anne Frank & Hitler: Studies in the Representations of Good and Evil
J203 | 12050 | Roseneld, A


Anne Frank and Hitler: Studies in the Representations of Good and
Evil (3 cr.)
A. Rosenfeld
JSTU-J 203 Arts & Humanities Topics in Jewish Studies #12050 / HON-H
234 Literature of Time and Place #29006
TR 2:30-3:45

Well known as historical figures, both Hitler and Anne Frank long
ago began to take on symbolic dimensions--he as the 20th century’s
leading personification of evil, and she as girlhood innocence
despoiled by unspeakable anguish and condemned to an early death. In
novels, stories, poems, plays, films, and other media, their images
have evolved in interesting ways over time and in different
cultures. This course aims to encourage students to critically
examine these changes and, in so doing, to learn how history is
penetrated by the shaping powers of imagination and transfigured
into something like a modern mythology. Students in this course will
learn how to become critically engaged with a range of literary and
other artistic genres and to see how complex a phenomenon the
representation of the past can be. Finally, given the two figures we
will be focusing on—the first, a major perpetrator of genocidal
crimes, the second, the most celebrated and cherished of teenage
victims—they will be encouraged to think hard about questions of
good and evil. Readings for the course will include historical
materials on Hitler and Anne Frank; fictional treatments of both
figures, such as George Steiner’s novel about Hitler, THE PORTAGE TO
SAN CRISTOBAL OF A.H., and Philip Roth’s novel about Anne Frank, THE
GHOST WRITER; Anne Frank’s famous diary, THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL,
as well as dramatic and cinematic versions of the same; at least one
movie about Hitler; and more.

Writing assignments will include a mix of medium-length papers
written outside of class and in-class examinations.

Fulfills: GEN ED A&H, CASE A&H, Jewish Studies Language & Literature
or Literature & the Arts or History & Society course; College
Themester course