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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Resisting Hitler

Instructor(s): Matthew Hockenos, History

An introduction to interdisciplinary perspectives on the German and European resistance to Hitler from1933 to 1945. We will explore a number of general questions about resistance, including: What types of behavior can be called resistance? What forms did resistance take within Nazi Germany? How does resistance differ from opposition, dissent, and non-conformity? How do we know what we know about the resistance to Hitler? What motivates one to risk his or her life by engaging in resistance? How can one distinguish between the myths of resistance and the realities of the resistance? What were the consequences of resistance? We will begin to try to answer some of these questions by exploring how Germans resisted the Nazi dictatorship from within Germany. In particular we will look at the resistance and opposition by high school and university students, Communists and Socialists, Jews and Christians, and the military opposition portrayed in the movie Valkyrie. We will then expand outward to see how people living in nations occupied by the Germans resisted Nazi policies in Poland, France, Italy, and Denmark. We will also explore the revolts and uprisings that took place in some of the extermination camps and ghettos, such as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Students will conclude by considering how the resistance has been remembered and memorialized in Europe and the United States.

Course Offered