From War to Peace: Europe in the 1940s

History 103B.003

Spring 2015
Day & Time: 
W 10-12P

This reading seminar will explore the mid-1940s as a watershed moment in European history. Within only a few years the descent into war and genocide was followed by the return to a stable and, in comparison to prewar Europe, fundamentally different social and political order. The starting point was in 1942-43: German mass killing policies in occupied Europe reached their zenith, Nazi Germany’s defeat became a certainty, and the Allies began to impose their vision for a postwar order. The transition ended in 1947-48 when the postwar settlement turned into a new conflict among the victorious powers, splitting the continent into Communist East and Capitalist West. We will discuss some of the major works of historical synthesis on twentieth-century Europe as well as more specific historical writings on European reconstruction that have appeared over the last decade. Weekly position papers and an in depth literature review (or a prospectus for a possible honors thesis) constitute the principal writing assignments.

Course Books

Postwar by judt, Tony Penguin. ISBN: 978-0143037750 Required
The Era of the Witness by Wieviorka, Anette Cornell University Press. ISBN: 978-0801473166 Required
Uprooted by Thum, Gregor Princeton. ISBN: 978-0691152912 Required
Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared by Fitzpatrick, Sheila/Geyer, Michael Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0521723978 Required
Dark Continent by Mazower, Mark Vintage. ISBN: 978-0679757047 Required
The Sleepwalkers by Clark, Christopher Harper Perennial. ISBN: 978-0061146664 Required
The Lost Children by Zahra, Tara Harvard. ISBN: 978-0674048249 Required
Germany 1945: From War to Peace by Bessel, Richard Harper Perennial. ISBN: 978-0060540371 Required
Hitler's Empire by Mazower, Mark Penguin. ISBN: ISBN:978-0143116103 Required
where Have All the Soldiers Gone by sheehan, James mariner. ISBN: 978-0547086330 Required