FALL 2011



Professor Maria Mitchell                                                                      Office Hours:

Office: Stager 111                                                                               Wed & Fri, 11:00-11:50 a.m.

Office Phone: 291 4241                                                                      Thurs, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

E-mail: Maria.Mitchell@FandM.edu                                                     and by appointment



                              The calamitous history of modern Germany has propelled its

                                    students into anguished retrospection.  That terrible question –

                                    How could it have happened? – weighs on them, a burden at

                                    once hard to bear and impossible to shake off.


                                                                                                            Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other                                                                                                                                                                      Germans: Masters and Victims in Modernist                                                                                                                                                   Culture, p. 3.

Course Description:


This course introduces students to the major events and themes of modern German history.  We will focus on continuities and ruptures in German society during the Second Empire, the Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the competing Republics, and the (unified) Federal Republic of Germany.  Major questions of the course include the supposed peculiarity or "belatedness" of German industrial and state formation; gender, class, and religious identities; the impact of total war; economic and political crisis; the roots of dictatorship and democracy; revolution; the organization of genocide; and European unity.


Required Course Books:


Anonymous. A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary, translated by Philip Boehm. Henry Holt and Company, 2005.

Doris L. Bergen. War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust, 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009.

Mary Fulbrook. A Concise History of Germany, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Jana Hensel. After the Wall: Confessions from an East German Childhood and the Life that Came Next, translated by Jefferson Chase. Public Affairs, 2004.

Heinrich Mann. Man of Straw. Viking Penguin, 1992.  Also available as The Loyal Subject, edited by Helmut Peitsch. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1997.

Erich Maria Remarque. The Road Back, translated by A.W. Wheen. Ballantine Publishing Group, 1998.


Additional assignments are available on eDisk (People Þ M Þ Maria Mitchell Þ Courses Þ HIS 355 Þ Distribution).


Course Requirements and Late Paper Policy:


There will be two in-class exams, two six-to-eight-page papers, five scheduled quizzes, and a final examination.  The format of the exams and paper will be discussed in class.  You must submit a paper and pass the final exam in order to pass this course.  Both papers should be e-mailed as attachments to me by 4:30 p.m. on their respective due dates.  There will be no extensions granted.  Final grades on papers received within twenty-four hours of their due times will be lowered two levels (from an A to a C, for example).  Any paper submitted more than twenty-four hours late will be given an F.  You should always come to class prepared to discuss the assigned reading; full class periods devoted to discussion are noted in the syllabus.  Please remember: It is difficult to participate in class when you are not present; attendance is by definition crucial to your Class Participation grade.


Grade Distribution:


First Exam                                                                                     16.67%

Second Exam                                                                             16.67%

Final Exam                                                                                    16.67%

First Paper                                                                                   16.67%

Second Paper                                                                            16.67%

Attendance/Participation/Map Quizzes                      16.65%



Topic Outline and Scheduled Readings


Lectures are designed to complement the readings; readings should always be completed for the day assigned before coming to class.


"Deutschland? aber wo liegt es? Ich weiss das Land nicht zu finden":  Germany Undefined


Wednesday, August 31: Introduction to German History

Review of the syllabus; discussion of topics and themes


Friday, September 2: The Early Modern Inheritance and the Politics of Restoration Germany

Fulbrook, 69-115; begin Mann

Map Quiz


Monday, September 5: 1848: The Turning Point that Didn't Turn?

Fulbrook, 116-122; continue Mann


Wednesday, September 7: Bismarck and the Incomplete Nation

Fulbrook, 122-137; continue Mann

Map Quiz


"What a turn of events has occurred through God's guidance":

The Kaiserreich and its Critics


Friday, September 9: Society and Politics in Wilhelminian Germany

Fulbrook, 137-148; continue Mann; Heinrich Class, "If I Were Kaiser" ( http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~german/gtext/kaiserreich/class.html ); "Die Internationale" ( http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~german/gtext/kaiserreich/internat.html )


Monday, September 12: The Separation of Gendered Spheres

Continue Mann



Wednesday, September 14: The Making of the Man of Straw

Continue Mann

Discussion of Mann, chapters I - IV


Friday, September 16: Masculinity, Nationalism, and the Duel

Continue Mann


Monday, September 19: The Man of Straw Comes to Power

Finish Mann

Discussion of Mann, chapters V - VI


"Had we returned home in 1916 ...":  War, Revolution, and the Weimar Republic


Wednesday, September 21: The Outbreak of World War

Fulbrook, 148-154; begin Remarque


Friday, September 23: No Class

Continue Remarque

Submit paper as attachment over e-mail by 4:30 p.m.


Monday, September 26: Defeat and Revolution

Fulbrook, 155-163; continue Remarque


Tuesday, September 27, 7:30 p.m.:  Rosa Luxemburg

The Other Room


Wednesday, September 28: The Death of the Radical Left

Rosa Luxemburg, "The War and the Workers" ( http://www.h­-net.msu.edu/~german/gtext/kaiserreich/lux.html )­; continue Remarque

Map Quiz

Discussion of Luxemburg


Friday, September 30: The Weimar Republic's Early Agonies

Fulbrook, 164-167­; continue Remarque


Monday, October 3 (Tag der deutschen Einheit): The Long Road Back from War

Finish Remarque

Discussion of Remarque


Wednesday, October 5:  EXAM


Friday, October 7: The Weimar Republic Takes Hold

Fulbrook, 167-172


Monday, October 10:  Weimar Culture: Art, Architecture, Gay Life, and the New Woman

Bauhaus – Archiv Museum of Design ( http://www.bauhaus.de/english/ ); Wassily Kandinsky

( http://www.mcs.csuhayward.edu/~malek/Kandin.html ); Paul Klee

( http://www.mcs.csuhayward.edu/~malek/Klee.html )


"The Theory and Practice of Hell": National Socialism, World War II, and the Holocaust


Wednesday, October 12: The Rise of National Socialism

Begin Bergen; Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party

( http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/nsdappro.asp )


Friday, October 14: The Republic under Siege

Fulbrook, 172-179; continue Bergen


Wednesday, October 19: The Construction of Dictatorship

Fulbrook, 179-187; continue Bergen; Nazi Propaganda Posters

( http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/posters2.htm )


Friday, October 21: "Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg?": Germany at War

Fulbrook, 187-197; continue Bergen; Address by Adolf Hitler to the Reichstag

( http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/gp2.asp )


Monday, October 24: "An unwritten and never-to-be-written page ...": The Holocaust

Fulbrook, 197-204; continue Bergen


Wednesday, October 26: War & Genocide

Finish Bergen

Discussion of Bergen


Friday, October 28: EXAM


Sie haben gebangt und gearbeitet”: Zero Hour and the Hour of the Woman


Monday, October 31: Germany in "Stunde Null"

Fulbrook, 205-212; begin Anonymous, Foreword, Introduction, April 20-May 8,

June 16-22, 1945


Wednesday, November 2: Die Stunde der Frau: The Marriage of Maria Braun

Continue Anonymous, Foreword, Introduction, April 20-May 8, June 16-22, 1945


Friday, November 4:  Race, Sex, and Masculinity in Postwar Germany

Maria Höhn, “Heimat in Turmoil: African-American GIs in 1950s West Germany,” in Hanna Schissler, ed., The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949-1963 (on eDisk); continue Anonymous, Foreword, Introduction, April 20-May 8, June 16-22, 1945

Discussion with Professor Maria Höhn, Vassar College

The Phillips Museum of Art, Rothman Gallery, 4:45 p.m.  Exhibit Opening


Monday, November 7: A Woman in Berlin

Finish Anonymous, Foreword, Introduction, April 20-May 8, June 16-22, 1945

Discussion of Anonymous


"Wen schmerzt noch Deutschlands Teilung?": Germany Divided


Wednesday, November 9: The Cold War: Germany East and West

Fulbrook, 212-220

Map Quiz


Thursday, November 10: No Class

Submit paper as attachment over e-mail by 4:30 p.m.


Friday, November 11: The Federal Republic of Germany

Fulbrook, 220-224, 230-235; begin Karin Bauer, “In Search of Ulrike Meinhof,” in Karin Bauer, ed., Everybody Talks about the Weather … We Don’t, 12-99 (on eDisk)


Monday, November 14: Students on the March: 1968  

Rudi Dutschke, “On Anti-authoritarianism,” in Carl Oglesby, ed., The New Left Reader, 243-253 (on eDisk); Rudi Dutschke, “The Students and the Revolution (7 March 1968),” in Jeremi Suri, The Global Revolutions of 1968, 118-131 (on eDisk); continue Karin Bauer, “In Search of Ulrike Meinhof,” in Karin Bauer, ed., Everybody Talks about the Weather … We Don’t, 12-99 (on eDisk)


Wednesday, November 16: The Turbulence of Terrorism: The RAF

Finish Karin Bauer, “In Search of Ulrike Meinhof,” in Karin Bauer, ed., Everybody Talks about the Weather … We Don’t, 12-99 (on eDisk)


Friday, November 18: Everybody Talks about the Weather … We Don’t

Ulrike Meinhof, “Napalm and Pudding, “Counter-Violence,” “From Protest to Resistance,” and “Setting Fires to Department Stores,” in Karin Bauer, ed., Everybody Talks about the Weather … We Don’t, 229-248 (on eDisk)

Discussion of Dutschke, Bauer, and Meinhof


Monday, November 21: The German Democratic Republic

Begin Hensel; The Berlin Wall ( http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_imglist.cfm?sub_id=106&section_id=15 )


Monday, November 28: Between Honi and Helmut: Germany East and West

Continue Hensel; Erich Honecker Addresses the FDJ

( http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/fdj.htm )


"Einigkeit, und Recht, und Freiheit"? Germany Unified


Wednesday, November 30: The Wende and the New Republic

Fulbrook, 243-249; continue Hensel

Map Quiz


Friday, December 2: The Undersides of Unification

Fulbrook, 250-261; continue Hensel



Monday, December 5:  Germany into the Twenty-First Century

Continue Hensel


Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 p.m.:  “Good Bye Lenin!”

The Other Room


Wednesday, December 7: After the Wall

Finish Hensel

Discussion of Hensel and “Good Bye Lenin!”


Friday, December 9: “Deutschland? Aber wo liegt es?  Ich weiss das Land nicht zu finden”

Review for the Final Exam


Exam scheduled by Registrar (December 14-18)