German History since 1945

History 103B.003

Fall 2013
Day & Time: 
Th 10-12P

Germany’s post-1945 history has been a history of dramatic change from post-war reconstruction to the transitions following the fall of the Berlin wall. Based around discussion of the assigned major works of historical synthesis on German history since 1945 this reading seminar will address the historical challenges and problems following Germany’s military and moral defeat in May 1945. Special attention will be directed to the key controversies within the German historical profession that emerged when the West Germans began to address the issue of the perpetrators and of German crimes against the Jews, and subsequent the victims. Referring to the establishment of the two German States, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, we will focus on a comparative reading of West and East German history. Topics include the questions of reconstruction, re-education, and restitution; the efforts of denazification and democratization; the development of diverging societies and independent policies during the Cold War; as well as the virtual explosion of memory since 1978, the unification in 1989/90, and the emergence of a new and independent national identity to the present.

Andrea Sinn is the  DAAD-Professor for German History at the University of California at Berkeley. She completed her PhD on Jewish Politics and Press in Germany after 1945 at Munich University, Germany. Her research and teaching focus on modern European history with specialities in German, Jewish, and migration history.

Course Books

Facing the Nazi Past: United Germany and the Legacy of the Third Reich by Niven, Bill Routledge; 4th edition . ISBN: 978-0415262811 Required
Utopia or Auschwitz? Germany's 1968 Generation and the Holocaust by Kundnani, Hans Columbia University Press. ISBN: 978-0231701372 Required
German National Identity after the Holocaust by Fulbrook, Mary Blackwell. ISBN: 978-0745610450 Required
Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic by Betts, Paul Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199668298 Required
Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany, 1945-1953 by Jay Howard Geller Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0 521 54126 3 Required
The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity by Maier, Charles S. Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674929777 Optional
A History of Germany, 1918-2008: The Divided Nation by Fulbrook, Mary Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition. ISBN: 978-1405188142 Optional