Focusing on the history of modern Germany in the Twentieth Century, the module examines major changes and continuities in the development of a highly advanced, industrialised but also militarised European nation state which played a central role in shaping the modern European geographical and political landscape. The module explores the end of the Imperial Monarchy after the end of the First World War in 1918, the role of the Allied reparation demands, hyper-inflation and political instability of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of National Socialism and the Third Reich during the 1930s. The course will chart the influence of anti-Semitism, racial eugenics and geopolitics in Germany's quest for world domination during the Second World War and assess the legacy of the Holocaust in defining post-war German identity and society. By examining the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the module will take a critical look at the politics, ideology and day-to-day history (Alltagsgeschichte) of East and West German society during the Cold War, and explore the underlying factors which led to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and subsequent German reunification.
This module appears in the following module collections.
This module will be taught through one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar each week, with the exception of Enhancement Week and one week that will be dedicated to coursework feedback.
Method of assessment
This module will be assessed by:
- Essay 1 (3,000 words) – 16%
- Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 16%
- Seminar Presentation (10 mins) – 4%
- Examination (2 hrs) – 60%
Bessel, R., Germany after the First World War (Oxford, 1995)
Bessel, R., Germany 1945: From War to Peace (London, 2009)
Evans, R., The Third Reich in Power (London, 2005)
Friedländer, S., The Years of Extermination (London, 2007)
Fulbrook, M., German History since 1800 (London, 1997)
Fulbrook, M., The People's State (London, 2005)
Fulbrook, M., Dissonant Lives: Generations and Violence through the German Dictatorships (Oxford, 2011).
Jarusch, K., Dictatorship as Experience (Oxford, 1999)
Kershaw, I., Hitler, 2. Vol. (London, 1998; 2000)
Klessmann, C., The Divided Past (Oxford, 2001)
Ross, C., The East German Dictatorship (London, 2002)
Sereny, G., The German Trauma (London, 2000)
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the historiography and history of Germany between the end of the First World War in 1918 and German reunification in 1990.
- Apply historical methodologies and approaches to analyse a range of primary and secondary sources on the subject, and where possible, visual and material evidence.
- Demonstrate the necessary skills to organise, contextualise, analyse, evaluate and communicate their knowledge of modern German history.
The intended generic learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of different historical approaches and degrees of bias as well as of the methodological complexities in the historical record itself.
- Demonstrate analytical and reflective skills and the ability to express complex ideas and arguments orally and in writing, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment.
- Demonstrate effective communication, presentation and information technology skills.
Back to top
Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.