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INDS 231: The Holocaust
Kenyon College
Spring 2003


Prof. Mikhail Lyubansky
Samuel Mather 304; PBX 5356 
Office Hours: MW F 10-11am and by appt.

Prof. Mary Suydam
Ascension 309; PBX 5067
Office Hours: MWF 9:30 -12 and by appt.

Course Information



Course Syllabus

I. Books (Required reading):

Klein, Gerda, All But My Life (Noonday Press, NY: 1988)

Wiesel, Elie, Night (Bantam Books, NY: 1982)

Levi, Primo, Survival in Auschwitz (Macmillan, Collier Books, NY: 1961)

Wyman, David, Abandonment of the Jews (Pantheon Books, NY: 1985)

Heger, Heinz, The Men With the Pink Triangle (Alyson Publications, Boston: 1994)

Sereny, Gitta, Into that Darkness (Random House, Vintage Books, NY: 1983)

Dawidowicz, Lucy, The War Against the Jews (Bantam Books, NY: 1986)

Niewyk, Donald, The Holocaust (Houghton-Mifflin, NY: 1997)

Spiegelman, Art, Maus I (Pantheon Books, NY: 1986)

On Course Reserve: Roth, John, and Berenbaum, Michael, Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications (Paragon House, NY: 1989)

II. Course Requirements

A. Attendance and participation (20%) at regularly scheduled classes, occasional guest lectures, as well as all films, is required. All students are expected to participate in seminar discussions. Chronic absenteeism (4 or more unexcused absences from a lecture, seminar, and/or film) will result in automatic failure.

There are ten films required for this class. The films can be viewed in AV if one cannot attend the regularly-scheduled showings.

B. Writing. All writing is due on the date announced, or, in the case of response papers, on the day the reading is discussed. No late papers will be accepted unless properly excused. Carefully read and follow essay guidelines, which will be distributed early in the semester, and review the College rules on Academic Honesty (pp. 24-27 in the Course of Study). Please keep all copies of your writing until it is graded and returned to you. Writing requirements are as follows:

1. Response Papers (20%). At the beginning of each seminar you will be asked to write a short response paper. These essays will become the basis for part of the seminar discussion. Response papers will be expected to demonstrate understanding of the weekly lecture materials and reading assignments.

2. Research Paper (20%). A 10-12 page, typed, double-spaced, fully annotated paper is due toward the end of the semester. You must choose your topic by February 14. A list of possible topics will be distributed to help you in your choice. You must consult with either one or both instructors before February 14. A progress report, including working bibliography, is to be submitted to instructors by April 4. The final draft is due on April 26.

C. Exams: Midterm and Final Exam (20% each).

III. Course Outline
Week 1: Jan 14-16: Introduction and Issues

Tues. Introduction to the course (Profs. Lyubansky, Suydam)
          Film: Night and Fog
Thurs. Seminar groups
Sunday evening: Film: The Longest Hatred


Wiesel, Night
Berenbaum and Roth, Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications part I, 1-44 (E-res)

Week 2: Jan 21-23:Christian Ideologies of Antisemitism

Tues. Christian Antisemitism (Prof. Rhodes)
Thurs. Seminar
Berenbaum and Roth, 277-91 (The Dean and the Chosen People) (CR)
Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, chapters 1-2
Week 3: Jan 28-30: The Nazi Rise to Power

Tues. The Ideology of Fascism in pre-war Germany (Prof. Suydam)
Thurs. Seminar (Handout: Chronology of the Nazi Rise to Power)
Sunday evening (Feb. 2): European Jewry prior to 1938 ( Prof. Dean-Otting)
Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, chapters 3-4
Niewyk, The Holocaust, part 1
Week 4: Feb. 4-6: European Jewry prior to 1938

Tues. Film: Image Before My Eyes
Thurs. Seminar
Sunday evening, Feb. 10: Film: Architecture of Doom
Botwinick, Rita A History of the Holocaust, chapter 2 (E-Res)
Botwinick,Rita, A Holocaust Reader, 32-44 (E-res)
Rememberings, 71-89 (E-res)
Week 5: Feb. 11-13: Ideologies of race

Tues. Racial hygiene (Prof. Lyubansky)
Film: Alles Leben ist Kampf
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (Feb. 17) film: The Warsaw Ghetto
Heger, Pink Triangle
Sereny, Into That Darkness, part I
Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, chapter 5
Paper Topics Due

Week 6: Feb. 18-20: The outbreak of war

Tues. Invasions of Poland and Russia; Ghettoes (Prof. Lyubansky)
Thurs. Seminar
Sunday (Feb. 25) film: Nazi Designers of Death
Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, chapters 6, 8-11
Klein, All But My Life, part 1
Week 7: Feb 25-27: Concentration Camps (Prof. Suydam)

Tues. Survival and Death in the Camps
Midterm handed out.
Thurs. seminar
Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Niewyk, Part 3


------------------------------SPRING BREAK --------------------------------------


Week 8: Mar. 18-20: Victim responses: Resistances

Tues. "Not like sheep to the slaughter"? Resistances (Prof. Suydam)
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (Mar. 23) film: Wannsee Conference

  Niewyk, part 4
 War Against the Jews, 13-16
Week 9: Mar. 25-27: The Character of the Killers

Tues. The Psychology of the Perpetrators (Prof. Lyubansky)
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (Mar. 30) film: Now After All These Years
Niewyk, part 2
Sereny, Into that Darkness, parts 2 and 3
Week 10: April 1-3: The Characters of the Onlookers

Tues. Bystanders, Collaborators, Resisters (Prof. Suydam)
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (Apr. 6) film: They Risked Their Lives
Klein, All But My Life, part 2
Niewyk, part 5
Week 11: April 8-10: Rescuers

Tues. Rescuers (Prof. Lyubansky)
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (April 13) film: Into the Arms of Strangers
Niewyk, part 6
Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews, chapters 1-6
Week 12: April 15-17: What did the United States Know and Do?

Tues. The U.S. Response (Prof. Suydam)

Learning from Mistakes?
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (April 20) film: The Long Way Home
Wyman, chapters 7-16
Klein, part 3
Week 13: April 22-24: Art and the Holocaust

Tues. (Prof. Finke)
Thurs. seminar
Sunday (April 27): Guest lecture: Diana Kurz, "Portraits of Remembrance"
Spiegelman, Maus I

Papers due Friday, April 25 by 4 pm
Papers may be turned in to Pam Sheasby, Ascension secretary, in the basement of Ascension, or to Lynn Niemec, on the second floor of Samuel Mather
Week 14: April 29-May 1: Reverberations of the Holocaust

Tues. Issues for the 21st century: Healing, Reconciliation, Forgiveness
(Prof. Lyubansky)
Thurs. seminar
Final exam handed out.
R. Rubenstein and E. Wiesel, "An Exchange" in Roth and Berenbaum, Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications, 349-369 (Course Reserve)

Franklin Littell, "Inventing the Holocaust: A Christian's Retrospect (Course Reserve)

Lawrence Langer
, "Beyond Theodicy: Jewish Victims and the Holocaust" (E-Res)