gbrdrheadtright History 590
Germany and Central Europe in the Twentieth Century
Winter 2000/Kalamazoo College
Office: Dewing 303I, ex. 7054 Office Hours: Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by appointment
This course will explore the history of Central Europe during the last century. For our purposes, Central Europe will encompass the countries of Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. One of the goals of the course will be to try and figure out the political, cultural and economic links between these nations, and to think about the ways in which their pasts intertwine. The general approach of the course will be regional and comparative rather than national. We will consider the topics we study within the framework of Central Europe as a whole, though we will examine also the different effects these events and ideas had in different countries.
Another goal of this course is to show how different kinds of sources can be used to document the past. We will be reading a wide variety of materials, from books written by historians to novels, newspaper articles, and films. The films (noted in the syllabus) will be shown on Wednesday eveningsch, in Dewing 300 at 7:30 pm. They are also available in the library.
Course Requirements: The basic requirement for this course is that you read each day’s assignment before the class session and come to class prepared to discuss what you have read. Your class participation will be part of your grade. You will also be asked to write two papers (4-6 pages), due during the 5th and 9th weeks of the quarter, and to take a final exam.
The following books have been ordered from the Kalamazoo College Bookstore:
V.R. Berghahn, Modern Germany (Cambridge University Press, 1987)
R.J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (Routledge, 1997)
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (Fawcett Crest, 1982)
ichDavid Crew, ed., Nazism and German Society (Routledge, 1994)
Václav Havel, Living in Truth (Faber and Faber, 1990)
Czeslaw Milosz, The Captive Mind (Vintage, 1981)
There is also a short course reader. Items marked with a * on the syllabus can be found in the reader.
All of these materials are also on reserve at the library.
Daily Topics and Assignments:
Week One—Central Europe in the Age of Empires
f20January 4: Introduction: What is Central Europe?
January 6: Central Europe in 1900
Reading: Berghahn, p. 1-29
Week Two—The End of the Imperial Age
January 11: The First World War
Reading: Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Berghahn, p. 38-56
January 13: Redrawing the Map of Central Europe: The Treaty of Versailles
Reading: Istvan Bethlehn, "The Treaty of Trianon and the Danubian Nations"*
Week Three— Politics in the Postwar Years
January 18: Socialist Revolution and Conservative Reaction
Reading: Berghahn, p. 57-81
Crampton, p.39-56 (Poland), 152-159
January 19: Film, The Joyless Street (Germany, 1925)
January 20: Making Parliamentary Democracies in Central Europe
Reading: Berghahn, p. 87-101
Crampton, p.57-76 (Czechoslovakia)
Ernst Troeltsch, "The German Democracy"*
Carl Schmidt, "On the Contradiction Between Parliamentarism and Democracy"*
Week Four—Central European Society in the Interwar Period
January 25: Modern Life in Central Europe
Reading: Berghahn, p.82-86
Crampton, p. 78-96 (Hungary)
Theodor Geiger, "The Old and New Middle Classes"*
A.R., "On Proletarian Culture"*
January 26: Film, Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Germany, 1927)
January 27: New Morals, New Ways and The "New Woman"
Reading: Elsa Herman, "This is the New Woman"*
Hilde Walter, "Twilight for Women"*
Week Five— The Crisis of the 1930’s
February 1: The Depression and Its Effects
Reading: Berghahn, p. 102-128
"f20Women’s Work and the Economic Crisis"*
*First Paper Due*
February 3: The Lure of Fascism
Reading: Lüdtke, e The ‘Honor of Labor’: Industrial Workers and the Power of
Symbols Under National Socialism," in Crew, p.67-109
Film (in class), scenes from The Triumph of the Will (Germany, 1934)
Week Six— The Impact of Nazism on Central Europe
February 8: A New German Reich
Reading: Berghahn, p. 129-171
Mallman and Paul, "Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent? Gestapo,
Society and Resistance" in Crew, p.166-196
February 9: Film, The Shop on Main Street (Czechoslovakia, 1965)
February 10: German Occupied Central Europe/ the Holocaust
Reading: Crampton, p. 179-210
Peukert, "The Genesis of the ‘Final Solution’ From the Spirit of Science" in Crew, p. 274-299
Browning, "One Day in Jozefow: Initiation to Mass Murder" in Crew, p.
Week Seven—Breaking Europe into "East" and "West"
February 15: Superpower Politics and the Division of Central Europe
Reading: Berghahn, p. 177-197
bch Crampton, p. 211-239
Milosz, The Captive Mind p. 111-134 ("Beta, The Disappointed Lover")
February 16: Film, Ashes and Diamonds (Poland, 1958)
February 17: The Stalinization of the new "East"
Reading: Crampton, p. 240-275
Milosz, The Captive Mind, p.3-81
Week Eight—The West in the Postwar Era
February 22: The ‘Economic Miracle’ and American Influences
Reading: Berghahn, p. 197-216
Wagnleiter, "The U.S. Cultural Mission in Austria"*
February 23: Film, The Nasty Girl (Germany, 1990)
February 24: A New Germany Faces Its Past
Reading: Berghahn, p. 232-268
Week Nine—The East Under Soviet Domination
February 29: Reform Communism: Can Socialism Have A Human Face?
Reading: Crampton, p. 304-344
*Second Paper Due*
March 1: Film, Riddance (Hungary, 1972)
March 2: Normalization and Resignation
Reading: Crampton, p. 345-367
Havel, p. 3-35 "Letter to Dr. Husák"
Week Ten—Central Europe Reunited?
March 7: Dissident Movements and the Collapse of the East Bloc
Reading: Crampton, p. 367-391
f4 Havel, p. 36-122 "The Power of the Powerless"
March 9: Central Europe After 1989
Reading: Crampton, p.391-415
hRoger Cohen, "East and West: Still Hostile States of Mind" (New York
Times October 25, 1999)*
20 Stephen Erlanger, "A Decade After Triumph, Havel is Crushed Velvet"
(New York Times, November, 4, 1999)*
arMarch 14: Final Exam, 1:00—4:00 pm