Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Third Reich (Part 2): War and the Holocaust, 1939-1945
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Essay - 1 x 2,500 words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Written Essay - 1 x 2,500 words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (resit) Examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. critically evaluate a variety of primary sources, showing an awareness of their significance, their authors’ purpose, the perspective from which they were produced and by whom and how they were received;
2. demonstrate an understanding of how and why the Nazi regime was radicalized, and its impact on German society, with reference to key concepts including totalitiarianism, the Volksgemeinschaft, ‘total war’ and the ‘home front’.;
3. demonstrate an understanding of the destructive and ultimately self-destructive characteristics Nazism displayed, above all in the period of the Second World War;
4. identify trends in the historiography of the Third Reich, and critically assess historians’ arguments and the controversies between them.


This module extends themes explored in HQ38320 into the period of the Second World War and focuses also on new ones: Nazi territorial expansionism; Blitzkrieg and the subsequent Nazi mobilization for ‘total war’; the Holocaust; the ‘Home Front’ in the Third Reich

Brief description

This module is about the limitlessness of Nazism’s radicalization, ambition and (self-)destructive energies. It asks why Germany went to war in 1939, and why it not only widened the scope of the war thereafter, but added ideological and especially racial elements to the aims and conduct of the fighting. An exploration of the Nazi regime’s criminal conception of the war on the Eastern Front will then lead into a discussion of the causes and course of the Holocaust, which lies at the core of the module. Finally, we address the German home front in the War, and ask why Germans continued to support the war effort even once any hope of a Nazi victory had been erased.


Part I: The War
1. Foreign policy and war in Nazi ideology
2. The causes of the War: Nazi foreign policy, 1933-1939
3. The Eastern Front

Part II: The Holocaust
4. When and why did the Holocaust begin?
5. The Planning and Execution of Genocide
6. Was the Holocaust unique?
Part III: The Home Front
7. Propaganda: The war that Hitler won?
8. Morale
9. Resistance

10. How Unique, 'Modern' and 'Totalitarian' was the Third Reich?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6