Germans and their history



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Mr. Ozment Summer School, Venice, 2006

June 27 – August 3

GERMANS AND THEIR HISTORY:

From Arminius to Angela Merkel


How valuable are perspective and precedent in the study of history? Can earlier centuries shed light on present ones? How far back may one meaningfully go?
Germans have two histories--the twelve years between 1933 and 1945, which are exceedingly well known, and the twenty centuries before and after the Nazi Era, which are barely known. GERMANS AND THEIR HISTORY (G&TH) places Germany’s shorter history within its longer. In doing so, it asks whether there are geographical features, political and social structures, cultural and intellectual patterns that typify a people over time and can illuminate present behavior.
By contrast with other European countries, Germany’s historical development is said to be exceptional and peculiar, even retarded and perverse. G&TH reaches back to the first century C.E. and forward to the twentieth-first in search of tradition and innovation in German history. The goal is to discover defining experiences in German history and memory and to ask what they promise, or portend, for present-day Germans, who confront new demographic, economic, and geo-political crises, which many observers predict they cannot survive.
For students interested in enrolling in G&TH, the Federal German Government’s annual publication, Facts About Germany, edited by Arno Kappler, is a good book to skim and is recommended as a primer. It may be obtained free of cost at any German consulate.
It is recommended that students consult one of the following recent histories for an overview and interpretation. Copies of each are available in the library and five copies of each are available at the the campus bookstore. Fulbrook is bread-and-butter, basic and highly reliable; Schulze has flair and more pictures per page than any other single volume; Ozment is interpretive and provocative.
Mary Fulbrook, A Concise History of Germany (Cambridge UP, 1990)

Steven Ozment, A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German

People (HarperCollins, 2004, Granta Books, 2005)

Hagen Schulze, Germany: A New History (Harvard UP, 1998)
Copies of Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (Vintage, 2003), the first class reading, are also available on library reserve and in the campus bookstore


Procedurally, G&TH is a cooperative seminar-style reading and discussion course. The syllabus contains more reading than any one member of the class could easily cover, much less digest. Each week there will be shared selections, which all will read, and individually assigned readings (marked by an *), which students must “volunteer” for individually, following their own interests and class need.

Students are required to attend all sessions and to participate in the discussions. Grades will be based on class reports, participation in discussion, and an end-of-class summary paper of 7-10 pages on a topic of interest freely chosen in consultation with Mr. Ozment.

Sessions*
1. COURSE INTRODUCTION: Mr. Ozment (6/27)
2. AMERICA, GERMANY, AND EUROPE TODAY (6/29)
Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power

Tod Lindberg, Beyond Paradise and Power: Europe, America

and the Future of a Troubled Partnership (Routledge,

2005), chs. 5 (Ischinger), 7 (Ash))

Geoffrey Barraclough, “Germany, Yesterday, Today, and

Tomorrow,” Origins of Modern Germany, pp. 456-466

*Richard J. Evans, “The Parade of the Grand Narratives,” in

Rereading Germany History: From Unification to

Reunification: 1800-1996 (PUBLISHER, 1997): Hans-Ulrich

Wehler vs. Thomas Nipperdey, pp. 12-43

*James F. Harris, ed., “The Continuity Debate” (Joachim

Fest, Hagen Schulze, Volker Press, Eberhart Jäckel,

Peter Paret, and Thomas A. Brady, Jr.), German-

American Interrelations: Heritage and Challenge

(Tübingen UP, 1985), pp. 55-94


*indicates a class report
3. GERMANIC PEOPLES IN ANTIQUITY: GAINING POWER AND RESPECT (7/4)
Tacitas, Germania in Tacitas: The Agricola and the

Germania, rev. trans. (Penguin, 1970), Intro, pp. 101-

140, 153-160

Gerald Strauss, ed., “Wounded Pride in Nation and

Ancestry,” in Manifestations of Discontent on the Eve

of the Reformation (Indiana UP, 1971), “Arminius,” pp.

75-82

*Walter Goffart, “The Barbarians in Late Antiquity and

How They Were Accommodated in the West,” in L.K. Little

and B.H. Rosenwein, eds. Debating the Middle Ages

(Oxford UP, 1998), 25-44

*E.A. Thompson, “Roman Diplomacy and the Germans,” The

Early Germans (Oxford UP, 1965), pp. 72-108

*Herwig Wolfram, “German Peoples as Enemies and Servants of

the Empire in the Fourth Century,” in The Roman Empire

and its Germanic People (Berkeley UP, 1997), pp. 50-

101
4. FROM INVESTITURE STRUGGLE TO HOHENSTAUFEN EMPIRE (7/6)
*Geoffrey Barraclough, “The Formation of Medieval Germany,

800-1075,” in The Origins of Modern Germany, pp. 3-98

*Ibid., “The Investiture Contest and the German

Constitution, 1075-1152,” pp. 101-164

*ibid., “The Rise and Fall of the Hohenstaufen Empire,

1152-1272, 167-248.



5. THE GERMAN RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION (7/11, 7/13)
A. CRANACH’S GERMANY (Slide Lecture) (7/11)



Jane C. Hutchison, Albrecht Dürer: A Biography (Princeton

UP 1992), pp. 157-169, 176-186, 187-206

*Thomas Nipperdey, “The Protestant unrest: Luther and the

Culture of the Germans,” in Martin Luther and the

Formation of the Germans (Inter Nationes, 1983), pp.

7-24

Steven Ozment, “Man and God,” in A Mighty Fortress, pp.

65-105
B. LUTHER’S GERMANY (7/13)
Gerald Strauss, “Wounded Pride in Nation and Ancestry,” in

Manifestations of Discontent on the Eve of the

Reformation, pp. 64-88

Martin Luther, “Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” in Luther’s

Works, 45, ed. W.I. Brandt (Muhlenberg Press, 1962),

197-229

*Martin Luther, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” in Luther’s

Works, vol. 47, pp. 121-306

*Johanes Wallmann, “Reception of Luther’s Writings on the

Jews,” Lutheran Quarterly, vol. 1 (1978): 75-98



6. RUIN AND DELIVERANCE: FROM THE 30 YEARS WAR TO THE GERMAN

REVOLUTION (7/18)
Geoffrey Parker, ed., “Germany Before the [Thirty Years]

War,” “The War and German Society,” and “The War and

Politics,” in The Thirty Years War (1997), pp. 11-22,

186-202

*David Blackbourn, “The Age of Revolutions, 1789-1848,” The

Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-

1918 (Oxford UP, 1998), pp. 138-173

Giles MacDonogh, Frederick the Great (St. Martins, 1999),

pp. 130-77

*Karl Löwith, “Christianity,” in From Hegel to Nietzsche:

The Revolution in Nineteenth Century Thought (Holt,

Rinehart,1964), pp. 327-73

Steven Ozment, “Absolute Spirit and Absolute People,” in A

Mighty Fortress, pp. 179-202

Hagen Schulze, “The Birth of the German Nation,” Germany:

A New History, pp. 101-123



7. FROM BISMARCK TO HITLER (7/20)
Mary Fulbrook, A Concise History of Germany, pp. 123-154

Lothar Gall, “The Circumstances of His Life,” “Between Two

Worlds,” in Bismarck: The White Revolutionary, vol. 1:

1851-71 (Unwin Hyman, 1986), pp. xiii-xix, 3-34

*Katherine A. Lerman, “Bismarckian Germany and the Structure

Of the German Empire,” in Mary Fulbrook, ed., German

History Since 1800 (Arnold, 1997), pp. 147-67

*Detlev J.K. Peukert, The Weimar Republic: The Crisis of

Classical Modernity (New York, 1989), chs. 1, 2, 13


8. WEIMAR REPUBLIC AND THE RISE OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM (7/25
Alan Bullock, “The Dictator,” Hitler: A Study in Tyranny

(Harper & Row, 1962), pp. 372-410

Schulze, “German Megolamania (11933-1942), in Germany, pp.

245-277

*Ian Kershaw, “Hitler: `Master in the Third Reich’ or `Weak

Dictator’?” in The Nazi Dictatorship (PUBLISHER,

1995), pp. 59-79

*“The Transition to the Systematic Extermination of the

Jews 1941-1942, in Nazism 1919-1945: A Documentary

Reader, vol. 3: Foreign Policy, War, and Racial

Extermination (Exeter UP, 1983), pp. 1107-1136



9. POST-WAR GERMANY (7/27)
Mary Fulbrook, The Two Germanies, 1945-1990: Problems of

Interpretation (MacMillan, 2000), pp. 11-26, 89-96

Richard J. Evans, “Reunification and Beyond,” in Rereading

Germany History, pp. 209-220; “”Rebirth of the German

Right,” in ibid., pp. 225-233

*Jan-Werner Müller, “Günter Grass and his Critics: The

Metaphysics of Auschwitz,” in Another Country: German

Intellectuals, Unification, and National Identity (Yale

UP, 2000) [GET PAGES]

*Richard J. Neuhaus, “Daniel Goldhagen’s Holocaust,” First

Things (Aug.-Sept, 1996): 36-41

*Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the

Holocaust (Henry Holt, 1991), pp. 97-110







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