Certificate in the Study of State Violence (War, Atrocity, and Genocide) - The Holocaust: Nazi Germany, World War II and the Genocide of European Jews

HIST 3705  The Holocaust: Nazi Germany, World War II and the Genocide of European Jews


Twelve credits of History with at least 3 credits at the 2000-level; or any 54 credits completed.


Three hours of lecture per week for one term.




During the Second World War the Nazis deliberately murdered two-thirds of Europe's Jews, approximately 6 million people according to the prosecutors and judges at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. In surveying the history of this atrocity, this course explores Nazi policy toward the Jews in the context of German and European anti-Jewish and antisemitic ideology, modern bureaucratic structures, and the varying conditions of war, occupation and domination in Europe under the Third Reich. Particular attention will be paid to the evolution of the ""Final Solution to the Jewish Question,"" the role of specific institutions and non-German collaboration in the killing process, the motives of the perpetrators, and the reaction of the Jews to the persecution. The murder of European Jews continues to generate compelling historical and interpretive questions. How did it come about? To what degree can an explanation be found in wider developments in German and European history and culture? What impact does the Holocaust have on the contemporary world? The ultimate goal of the course is to help students understand how and why the Holocaust happened.

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