A Description of Our Course
This course will examine the history of German-speaking central Europe from the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire to the present day. In that period, Germans endured many wars on their soil, pursued a global empire, provoked two world wars, waged unrestrained genocide against Europe's Jews, and stood at the front lines of a cold war. Divided by the Iron Curtain for half of the twentieth century, the German people were partitioned by ideology; the western republic became one of the wealthiest countries in the world and the most powerful state in Europe, while the eastern dictatorship became a grim, repressive society. Each of Germany's many transformations and permutations brought social upheaval and cultural transformation. Among the major political structures, we will explore national identity, generational divides, changing relationships between the sexes, and the history of everyday life.