HIS20820 Nazi Germany

Academic Year 2024/2025

The course provides an overview over some of the most important aspects of Nazi Germany – covering political, cultural, social and military history. The module provides insights into one of the darkest, most disturbing and most formative periods of modern European history.
The module aims to pay particular attention to different and conflicting interpretations of how the Third Reich came into being and why Hitler’s dictatorship proved to be one of the most murderous in history. Particular attention will be paid to racial thinking, the Holocaust and the question of European collaboration with the Nazis. The module aims to improve the students’ capacity to engage with historical interpretations and different methodological approaches.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students

- will be able to analyze and evaluate conflicting historical interpretations of Modern German History
- will have acquired basic knowledge and understanding of some of the key historiographical debates about the Third Reich.
-will have familiarized themselves with some of the most important concepts and methodological approaches to the history of totalitarianism and genocide
- will have a fuller understanding of the rich secondary literature on the period.
- will have improved their ability to interpret primary sources

Indicative Module Content:

Lecture 1:
The ‘Twisted Path’ to the Third Reich

Lecture 2:
Establishing the Dictatorship: the ‘Seizure’ of Power: 1932-1934

Lecture 3:
The Persecution of the Jews 1933 - 1939

Lecture 4:
An economy for war

Lecture 5:
Creating the ‘People’s Community’

Lecture 6:
The Origins of the Second World War

Lecture 7:
The Third Reich at War I (Poland and France)

Lecture 8:
The Third Reich at War II (Barbarossa)

Lecture 9:
Holocaust: Plunder, Expulsion, Mass Murder

Lecture 10:
The Nazi Empire: Occupation, Collaboration and Resistance

Lecture 11:
‘The Past that does not pass’: Coming to Terms with the Nazi Past

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Learning in this course takes three forms.

1. Weekly lectures - lectures will build your knowledge of key themes in the history of Nazi Germany and help you to contextualize key historical debates.

2. Weekly tutorials - tutorials will give you an opportunity to debate the major themes discussed in the lecture and in selected readings.

3. Reading: you will further your knowledge by reading key secondary and primary literature. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
HIS31150 - The Third Reich

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Tutors will provide feedback to students individually. This will consist of returning each student a copy of their essay with written comments. They will also provide spoken feedback on the student's presentation and contribution to class. The course lecturer will also be available to provide further feedback to students and to meet students individually during weekly office hours. Feedback on the end of semester exam will be available by appointment and will take place on a one to one basis. The class will receive collective feedback on the general quality of the mid-semester essays during the second half of the semester.