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Course Description

History of the Holocaust (3 cr.)
Mark Roseman
HIST-B 323 #27855
TR 10:10-11 plus discussion section: R 12:20-1:10 (27856); R 12:20-1:10 (27857); R 12:20-1:10 (27858); R 2:30-3:20 (27859); R 2:30-3:20 (27860); R 2:30-3:20 (27861); F 10:10-11 (27862); F 10:10-11 (27863); F 10:10-11 (27864); F 12:20-1:10 (27865); F 12:20-1:10 (27866); F 12:20-1:10 (27867)

This course is being offered this year as part of the Themester “Good behavior, bad behavior”.  The Holocaust might seem to offer examples only of “bad behavior”.  After all, it is probably the most horrific and challenging phenomenon of the 20th Century.  True, we know that there were some who resisted it, some who sought to assist or rescue the victims.  But they were merely pinpricks of light in the darkness.  Yet human participation in these events – be it as perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders or rescuers – cannot be simply explained in terms of “evil” people versus “good” people.  Many of those who helped make the Holocaust possible had no criminal or violent record before 1933, and many lived as law-abiding citizens after Hitler had been defeated.  And on the other side, not all the rescuers were conventionally “good” people either – as the case of Oscar Schindler shows.  So how do we understand human involvement in the Holocaust? What kind of reasons did people find to participate or to oppose it? How far were the victims able to influence their own fate?  What ideas made the Holocaust possible – and in what ways did those targeted by persecution make sense of what was happening to them? The answers will challenge our understanding of the nature of goodness, and of the limits of choice in a dictatorship.

Beginning Summer 2011: CASE S&H, CASE GCC
Before Summer 2011: S&H, CSA, History & Society