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HISTORY 3FF3 Nazi Germany

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Pamela Swett

Email: swettp@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 624

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24142


Office Hours: Fri 12:30-1:30, or by appt.

Course Objectives:

This course takes as its focus one of the most popularly studied modern historical eras. A veritable industry has developed that keeps the Nazi regime and its crimes in the public consciousness – from History Channel documentaries to concentration camp tourism. The goals of this course are twofold. First, the instructor seeks to broaden students’ knowledge of Nazi Germany, which is often limited to the handful of topics that dominate popular treatments of this era. Second, through this more comprehensive look at the Third Reich, students will be asked to question their pre-conceived notions of life and death in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.  Like all areas of scholarly investigation, the history of National Socialism is constantly being revised and refined. We will examine both primary and secondary sources in our exploration of Nazi policies, daily life under the regime, and the consequences and legacy of a genocidal worldview.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Tim Kirk, Nazi Germany (available in Mac’s Campus Store)

Neil Gregor, How to Read Hitler (available in Mac’s Campus Store)

Melita Maschmann, Account Rendered (as e-book from Amazon or ITunes)

Document links on AtL

Method of Assessment:

Final grades for 3ff3 will be computed in the following manner:

Short essay:                   20% (Due Feb 9, 2016, by 4 pm)

Midterm Exam:               20% (Feb 23, classroom to be announced)

Long essay:                    30% (Due April 5, by 4 pm)

Final exam:                     30% (TBA)


The midterm exam will be 50 minutes long and held during our normal class hour but in a special exam room. The final exam will be two hours long and scheduled by the registrar at the end of term. No notes are allowed on either exam. The first eight chapters of Account Rendered will be assessed on the midterm; the whole memoir will be assessed on the final exam. A study guide for both exams will be posted on AtL. Lecture slides will be posted on AtL in advance of the two exams

Written Assignments:

The short essay will be 1000-1200 words long and answer a specific question pertaining to the Gregor text and primary source readings for the course. The long essay will be 3000-3400 words long and will involve some individual research on a topic provided by the instructor or designed by the student. Essay questions and further instructions will be posted on AtL. Students are expected to submit only work that has been proofread for grammatical and stylistic accuracy and coherence. Formal scholarly language is to be used, which means no contractions, slang or colloquial phrases. No websites may be used on the short essay. One scholarly website may be used on the long essay. See further details about sources on AtL. Footnotes or endnotes are expected. Internal parenthetical citations are NOT acceptable. Bibliographies are required on both essays. For help with style and format, see Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (New York: Bedford Books, 3rd edition, 2001), or Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, (Chicago, 6th ed., 1996), available online at the library: http://library.mcmaster.ca/guides/turabian.htm.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students should be aware that many course components are time-sensitive. There will be NO reduction of penalty for any of the following: the pressure of other course demands, paid employment, volunteer work, vacation, athletics, theatre arts, etc.  Under these circumstances, the penalty for handing in assignment late will be 3%/day. Permission to submit a late assignment is entirely at the discretion of the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation.  

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

See the full course outline on Avenue to Learn for a complete list of lecture topics and readings.

Other Course Information:

TA contact information is also available on Avenue.