Introduction to Holocaust History

Free course for middle and high school educators

July 7-11; 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

This course will focus on the programs of persecution and mass murder carried out by the Nazi regime between 1933-1945 that culminated in the “final solution” and mass murder of European Jewry. Topics to be examined include:  the legacy of anti-Semitism in Germany, the Nazi racial state and its early policies of persecution and exclusion, the concentration camp and life within the barbed wire, as well as the divergent perspectives of perpetrators and victims and those who fell into the category of collaborators and bystanders. 

This course will give participants the necessary tools to teach and address the complexities involved in teaching this subject matter.  Materials used to carry out this goal will include primary source documents, historiographical essays, memoirs, oral histories, and representations of the Holocaust such as film, art, and memorials.

Topics covered:

  1. Lasting Legacies:  Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and the Foundation of the Nazi Racial State
  2. Programs of Persecution:  Jews and Social Outsiders under Nazism
  3. The Invasion of Poland: Expulsion, Concentration and the Creation of Ghettos
  4. Total War:  Barbarossa and the Final Solution
  5. The Camp Universe
  6. Life in the Lager (camp)
  7. Perpetrators:  Doctors, Bureaucrats, and “Ordinary Men”
  8. Collaborators and Bystanders:  The Case of Jedwabne
  9. Resistance:  Religious, Cultural, and Armed
  10. The Last Days

Instructor: Jessica Anderson Hughes is a visiting lecturer in the History Department at Rutgers University teaching classes focusing on German, Nazi, and Holocaust history. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2011.  Her dissertation, entitled “Forced Prostitution:  The Competing and Contested Uses of the Concentration Camp Brothel” is a study that enhances and complicates the history of Nazi racial and sexual policies by examining the quotidian politics of ten brothels staffed by and for prisoners that operated in concentration camps in Germany and its occupied territories.  Her research interests are concentrated in Modern German history, the history of the Holocaust, and specifically the instrumentalization of sex and sexuality under the Third Reich. She is currently preparing a book proposal on the request of a university press and drafting two article manuscripts based on her dissertation.

Jessica has received DAAD and American Association of University Women Fellowships and in 2008 she was selected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to be part of a team of academics to conduct research in the newly opened International Tracing Service archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany.