Germany in the 20th Century 
David B. Dennis 

This course will cover the major phases of modern German history: Wilhelmine Germany, Germany in the First World War, Weimar Germany, National Socialist Germany, Germany in the Second World War, Post-War West Germany, East Germany, and Reunification. While establishing the background of political and social developments, we will carefully consider responses to these issues by leaders in German intellectual and cultural life.

Main Sources: All are available, used, at the following links.

Required Online Course Materials

Files will open in Google, but you will have the option of downloading them to print and use with Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

Background Materials

Please note the links, on the left, to Background materials (General, Wilhelmine, WWI, Weimar, Nazi, Holocaust, Post-1945). There you will find excellent sources of background material, in text, film, and sound formats. These materials will be essential for developing the "background" sections of your essays. Consult and make use the sections of these sources that pertain to the specific "context" of your topic.

Course Schedule

We will follow this schedule as closely as possible; but in order to cover this material thoroughly, some flexibility is necessary. We will maintain the order of discussion outlined here, so pay attention to where we are in the sequence, regardless of the specified date. Some omissions may be necessary. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask me!

Take Home Exams

You will be required to write three take-home essay/short-answer examinations, as indicated on the schedule above. 

After receiving the exam materials via the Blackboard website, you will compose the required essays by the deadline. You must then submit the completed essays to me as Microsoft Word documents via Turnitin, which I will set up in Blackboard.

Because the primary activity involved in the study of History is expository writing, this course will pay serious attention to the organization and composition of critical essays. All essays must be structured according to the Course Essay Guidelines (available above).

Proper style and good grammar are essential elements of expository writing -- not to mention academic and professional success-- and will be taken into consideration in grading. All essays must be composed with reference to the Course Style Guide (available above). 

Grading Policy

Grades will be registered in My Grades on the Blackboard Site.

Grades will be based on the following structure:

Grading Scheme

Note: Once the grades of the exams and extra credit are determined, the outcome is final: xx.9 is not rolled up!

Substantial penalties (one half of a grade per day) will accrue on late assignments.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated: be sure to carefully note all sources of information, both primary and secondary. "Copying and Pasting" from electronic resources is a potentially devastating mistake.

Here are some sites with information about avoiding plagiarism:

Extra-Credit Opportunities

Extra credit may be earned by attending extra-curricular cultural events and submitting a short report on their relevance to the course.. 

Here are some Chicago cultural events that include elements related to our course. You may also select other cultural/historical activities that are pertinent, in consultation with me. Extra-credit can be earned with proof of attendance and a brief essay explaining how the experience related to our work.. (Two extra-credit opportunities maximum, for 1.5 percentage points [on course grade] each.)


This is an experiment in usinFacebook as a tool for the course. Feel free to join ["ask to join group"] and share information about the course and your cultural experiences. It is yours to do with what you will!