Fall 2016

Nazi Germany

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-234  |  History, as HIST-234

Formerly listed as: EUST-54  |  HIST-34


April D. Trask (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 234 [EU] and EUST 234.)  In the 1920s, Germany was celebrated throughout Europe and North America as a model of democratic political reform, artistic experimentation, economic prosperity, and cultural diversity.  Yet by 1933, millions of Germans gave their political support and allegiance to a movement that called for the destruction of democracy, an attack on Jews, Communists, gay men, and lesbians, and deemed "asocial" anyone who did not conform to narrowly prescribed social, political, and sexual standards. This course will explore the rocky transition from the Germany of the Imperial period to the authoritarian Third Reich through the way station of the democratic Weimar Republic. It will examine the promise and excitement, the sense of possibility and openness of the 1920s, and the utopian vision of a "racial state" that succeeded it in the 1930s.  This course explores the emergence of Hitler and Nazism in Germany, the culture wars in the 1920s and 1930s, Nazi ideology and aesthetics, Nazi racial policies, daily life in the Third Reich, the march toward World War and the “war against the Jews” - the Holocaust.  Class participants will discuss specific case-studies as well as broader themes surrounding the nature of political consent and coercion in German society.  Texts will include films, diaries, historical fiction, memoirs, government and policy texts and scholarly accounts of the era.  Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 40 students. Fall semester. Professor Trask.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to Amherst College pre-registered students, pre-registered 5-college students, History majors, and then AC first-year students with an interest in majoring in History. Students who do not attend the first class will be dropped.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2021