GELH2002 / GELH008 – The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights
|Suggested Year of Study:||2 – 4|
Department of English
|Medium of Instruction:||English|
This course introduces students to the Holocaust, the systematic murder of the Jews of Europe by the Nazi regime between the years 1939 and 1945. In seeking to understand how the Holocaust happened, students will be introduced first to concepts like racial prejudice and other forms of discrimination, anti-Semitism, and the role of nationalism in creating concepts of the Other. The course will study the rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, its accession to power in 1933 and the systematic denigration of, and discrimination against, Jews from the years 1933 to 1939. The course will discuss the power of propaganda, the effects of discriminatory laws excluding Jews from all areas of public life and how these lead first to the mass murder of Jews in eastern Europe (Operation Barbarossa) and then the Final Solution, with the establishment of death camps, of which Auschwitz-Birkenau is but the most infamous. This course will also address the issue of genocide, how the Holocaust lead to the concept of genocide, first described as such by Raphael Lemkin in 1943 and subsequent international treaties seeking to prevent further genocides. The course will look at other genocides, including Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur. Special attention will also be paid to the Japanese invasion of China, the Nanjing Massacre and Unit 731 in Manchuria.
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
1. Students will be able to describe how the Holocaust happened;
2. Students will be able to explain concepts like racial prejudice and other forms of discrimination, anti-Semitism, and the role of nationalism in creating concepts of the Other;
3. Students will be able to explain the legacy of prejudice in creating a climate in which atrocities can occur;
4. Students will be able to discuss the power of propaganda and the effects of discriminatory laws in making prejudice viable;
5. Students will be able to discuss the issue of genocide and will be able to talk about genocides in Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur as well as the Holocaust and the Nanjing Massacre.
6. Students will be able to explain the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against the Crime of Genocide.