Module Catalogue 2023/24

GER4014 : German Representations of the Holocaust (Inactive)

GER4014 : German Representations of the Holocaust (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Beate Muller
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment

Level D German or equivalent.


To introduce students to representations of the Holocaust in German culture by engaging with suitable examples including literature, film, testimony, memoir/autobiography, and historiography.
To explore and compare genre-specific aspects of Holocaust representations.
To explore the range of perspectives on the Holocaust and their developments over time, from the occupational years to more recent representations in German-speaking cultures of Europe.
To introduce students to philosophical, ethical, moral, aesthetic, and political debates about the Holocaust, such as problems of witnessing, legitimacy of subject positions, representations and representability; authenticity and authority etc.
To introduce students to suitable Holocaust-related insights from trauma studies, memory research, and genocide studies.
To introduce students to key vocabulary on the Holocaust in both English and German.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introduction
2. History of the Holocaust: background, war context, ideology
3. Representations of the Holocaust in cultural artefacts and in evidential genres
4. Early postwar Holocaust testimonies:
a) David Boder’s Voices project of 1946 (examples)
b) Jewish organizations and their testimonial endeavours
c) Children's wartime recollections
6. Nazi trials and their literary echoes: The Auschwitz Trial and Peter Weiss’s play Die Ermittlung (1965)
7. The persecution of Jews on silver screen: Frank Beyer’s film Jakob der Lügner (1975)
8. A female perspective: Ruth Klüger’s autobiography Weiter leben (1992)
9. Feigning traumatic memory and the Holocaust ‘industry’: The case of Binjamin Wilkomirski’s Bruchstücke (1995)
10. Summary and conclusion

There will also be tuition on review and essay writing.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Familiarity with key historical facts of the Holocaust. Knowledge of different genres and types of Jewish-voiced representations of the Holocaust over time, ranging from early postwar testimony to more contemporary autobiography, and from film to literature. Understanding the different approaches to the Holocaust in German-language testimonies, literature, and film. Awareness of philosophical, ethical, and moral issues arising from the representation of Jewish suffering. Understanding of key debates in Holocaust scholarship about aspects such as trauma and trauma narratives, memory, witnessing and subject positions, authenticity and authority, representability of the Holocaust etc. Knowledge of key vocabulary to do with the Holocaust in both English and German.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Ability to analyse, compare, and contrast the sources studied. Ability to relate representations of the Holocaust to the relevant philosophical, ethical, aesthetic, and political debates. Ability to discuss the sources studied in context. Ability to choose relevant secondary sources and to use them competently. Ability to think independently, structure material, and to put forward a coherent argument.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials141:0014:00To engage with recorded online lectures as appropriate.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00To focus on review and essay writing skills. Lectures partly on campus, partly online.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures will be partly given in person on campus, and partly online, as appropriate.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00PiP on campus
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities331:0033:00To include pre- and post-lecture reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00via Zoom
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study681:0068:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The scheduled teaching and learning activities will provide the opportunity for students to (1) acquire lecture-based in-depth knowledge of the significance of key characteristics of the sources and materials studied, and (2) to use this knowledge as a basis for discussions of the key sources and the issues raised in the scholarship, thereby encouraging students to apply the general principles and wider knowledge acquired to the specific examples on the syllabus. The synchronous teaching and learning activities will provide the students with opportunities to practice critical engagement with the primary sources by focusing on the module’s key topics and by reading these primary sources with the help of analytical concepts gleaned from selected secondary sources.
Evaluation from last year showed that a majority of students appreciated the online elements as part of the module contact hours.
Independent study and structured guided learning activities will enable students to read primary and secondary sources in preparation for scheduled learning activities and for assessment purposes.
The module will be partly taught in German, partly in English. This will ensure that students practice their German while English can function as a meta-language to enhance the intellectual quality of debates.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M70A 2,500 word essay to be written either in English or German. Target language performance will not be marked. Submission: week 35.
Written exercise1M30A 500-word commentary of a publication identified by the module leader.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MA commentary on a selected passage of a primary source, set in week 1, to be submitted in week 5. Word limit: 500 words. This will prepare students for the written exercise to be submitted after the end of S1, which will also be a commentary, counting for 30% of the final mark.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

*Students will have a choice whether to write the essay in English or in German.

The long essay will allow students to explore one topic in depth, thus giving them an opportunity to use the knowledge acquired in the module to practice academic writing, thinking, and working. The complexity of the field - Holocaust representations – and the richness of the available sources, both primary and secondary, together with the fact that this is a research-led final year option at level D means that it is pedagogically entirely appropriate to ask for a review of a scholarly publication and for a longer essay from the students.

The practice commentary will prepare students for the assessed commentary (S1). It will also help students read and work closely with primary sources, which will be useful for the assessed essay (S2).

Students may choose whether to write their essays in English or German, but the language performance is not going to be factored into the mark given. This is because the module is a cultural content, not a language module. It is nevertheless important to give students the choice to use their German language skills actively for writing their essays if they wish to do so.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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