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First-Year Seminar--European History (101-6-24)


Holocaust Testimonies


Benjamin Frommer
Harris Hall Room 206

Meeting Info

Harris Hall L04: Tues, Thurs 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

The Nazis veiled the Holocaust in a fog of secrecy and deception in their efforts to disguise their crimes and erase the voices of their victims. In response, Holocaust victims, both at the time and since, have struggled to tell their stories to the outside world. Paradoxically, the iconic genocide of the modern age that silenced millions of the murdered, and destroyed all trace of many of them, has also bequeathed to posterity the largest number of first-person testimonies about any single historical event. In this course we will examine a range of firsthand accounts of the Holocaust from the period itself and the subsequent decades. We will read selections from diaries, letters, memoirs, graphic novels, and courtroom testimony. We will discuss accounts left behind by victims, perpetrators, and so-called bystanders. Finally, we will work with the USC Shoah Visual Archive, the largest single collection of video interviews of genocide victims in existence. Throughout the course we will explore why the authors of these statements chose to testify and what we can (and cannot) learn from their testimony.

Registration Requirements

Attendance at first class mandatory

Class Notes

Area of concentration: European

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar
Attendance at 1st class mandatory

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only