Spring 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Shortly after the occupation of France in the summer of 1940, Adolf Hitler signed Directive 21 ordering the German invasion of the Soviet Union. What was later known as Operation Barbarossa became not only a turning point in the war, but also the beginning of what eventually resulted in the genocide of the European Jewish community between the invasion in 1941 and the end of the war in 1945. Although persecution of the Jewish community in Europe had been taking place since the Nazi rise to power in 1933, it is not until the summer of 1941 that mass murder and total destruction become the end goal.
Exploring the impact of the invasion on the Soviet Union, as well as the many Jewish communities spread throughout the region, Operation Barbarossa and the Holocaust will investigate the history of Antisemitism, Soviet-German relations during the interwar period, the major battles affecting the Allied war effort, and the mass murders which took place from the beginning of the onslaught. In addition, it will discuss Directive 21 as one of the most crucial orders of the conflict, and the ways in which it changed the direction of the war and began what was to become the Final Solution.
Required Texts: A concise History of Nazi Germany, Third Edition, by Joseph W. Bendersky;
War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941, by Geoffrey P. Megargee; and
Russiaâ€™s War by Richard Overy.
Other readings may include selections from the United States Holocaust Museum web site, Christopher Browning, and others.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Course requirements may include one reading review, a final research paper, and two exams.