Holocaust: History & Memory

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Holocaust: History & Memory

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


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    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    After successful completing this course, (1) you have knowledge of the various approaches, theories and concepts in the historiography of the Holocaust, (2) have insight how the memory of the Holocaust is transmitted and how it continues to affect western culture, (3) have knowledge of the similarities and dissimilarities in the history of the Holocaust in the Netherlands compared to several other European countries, (4) are able to critically use and analyze written and video testimonies and have knowledge of the ongoing debates about their value as historical sources, (5) are able to do research in various kinds of archives, (6) are able to evaluate and combine various sources to attain a good account of an event.

    In this seminar students learn about the history of the Holocaust and how these events (often called Shoah as well) continue to have a legacy in postwar Western culture, political and cultural memory, such as in literature, film, monuments, and commemorations. Both the Netherlands and the international situation are addressed in this course, with specific attention for the role and study of witnesses and testimony in memory and historiography. Among the themes addressed in particular are: the history and memory of Jews in hiding from the Nazis; the spatial turn in Holocaust studies (history and locations, questions of spatial awareness); and the history and memory of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, including the views of survivors on its contested role in the persecution.

    A variety of teaching forms is used in the course, including introductory lectures, short writing and research assignments, reviews, excursions and meetings. Students will be made familiar with various types of archives and will engage in analyzing written, visual and audio sources, mapping skills, archive reporting, and will write an individual research paper during the course. Several excursions and meetings will be included in the course. TYPE OF ASSESSMENT Assignments will include short response papers, oral presentations, written reports and reviews (25%), and a final paper of 4000 words at the end of the course (75%).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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