GVSU Holocaust Courses

book image

HNR 231.01: SWS The Holocaust

Fall 2015

Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50 am HON 220

Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Jason Crouthamel, Professor

The fact that this enormous crime occurred in the modern world, in the heart of “civilized” Europe, deeply challenges Western perspectives on traditional institutions, values and thought. How could the culture that produced Beethoven, Bach and Einstein also produce the most barbaric regime in the history of the modern world?  Since 1945, the Western World has struggled to come to terms with the significance of this event. Historian Yehuda Bauer argues that in order to address the philosophical, theological, and psychological implications of the Holocaust, one must first examine the Holocaust as an historical event. This is a central goal of the course. The Holocaust presents not only some of the most difficult intellectual and scholarly questions, but it also challenges us on fundamental psychological, moral, and spiritual levels.  We will study some of the seminal books on the Holocaust by leading historians.  In addition, we will closely analyze eyewitness testimonies of both perpetrators and survivors, whose voices in documentaries like Shoah will serve as a central basis for discussion.


Claude Lanzmann's Shoah

HNR 231.02: SWS The Holocaust

Fall 2015

Schedule: MW 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. LHH 122

Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Robert Franciosi, Professor

This course will examine the Holocaust, a “watershed event” that Yehuda Bauer argues represented “something radically new” in history and that changed “human perspective.” Although we will consider the implications of this statement, our primary goal will be to gain a solid understanding of what the Holocaust was. To that end we will concentrate mostly on historical narratives and primary documents, though with our viewing of Claude Lanzmann’s epic documentary film, Shoah, and with our work on the collection How Was it Humanly Possible?, we will also consider the psychological, social, political, historical, cultural, and economic forces that affected the various groups impacted by the destruction of Europe’s Jews—the perpetrators, victims, bystanders, rescuers, and resisters.

Page last modified November 2, 2016