German History since 1945

HISTORY 103B.004

Fall 2015
180 Barrows
Day & Time: 
Tu 10-12
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.
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; the arrival of Guest Workers and challenges of integration; 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. This course will encourage you to explore new ideas and interests and is intended to help you to improve your research skills and to identify themes for writing a thesis prospectus.

Course Books

Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic by Betts, Paul Oxford UP. ISBN: 978-0199668298 Required
Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany's 1968 Generation and the Holocaust by Kundnani, Hans C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd . ISBN: 978-1849040242 Required
Jews, Germans, Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany by Grossmann, Atina Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691143170 Required
The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall by Sarotte, Mary E. Basic Books. ISBN: 978-0465064946 Optional