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The Third Reich


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (25%), a gobbet assignment (25%) and a three-hour examination (50%)

Module description

The Third Reich casts a very dark shadow over the twentieth century and historians have long tried to understand how modern Germany could descend, in the space of a few years, into brutal terror, racial warfare and genocide. In this module we explore the rise and development of Nazi rule, from the seemingly inauspicious early years of the Nazi movement after the First World War to the Holocaust and to the final collapse of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ in 1945, following the most destructive war in history.

During the module you will develop a deeper understanding of state and society in Nazi Germany, exploring the development of the Third Reich from different perspectives.

Key themes include:

  • the dynamics of rule and Hitler’s leadership
  • economic and social change
  • propaganda and popular opinion
  • terror and resistance
  • war and extermination.

The module is based around the study of original documents in translation and most of the seminars will involve the discussion of a prescribed set of original documents.