Course Number

HIST 237

Syllabus Date

Spring 2017

Department course is offered by

HIST - History

Course description

This course explores how, and why, Germans and other Europeans committed the Holocaust. It examines the whole range of different groups and types of perpetrators. We will be looking at desktop perpetrators such as Adolf Eichmann, at medical doctors who used Jews for their inhuman experiments, at the concentration camp guards, and at the death squads (Einsatzgruppen) as the hard core of the SS elite. Furthermore, we will investigate the actions, ideologies, and emotions of “ordinary” Germans who served in police battalions and in the drafted army, of women who served as camp guards and in the occupational regime, and of non-German collaborators. The course investigates the interrelation of motivations and biographies, of emotional attitudes and ideological orientations, and of social and institutional arrangements to answer why “normal” humans became mass murderers.

Document Type