Undergraduate

modules

Modules

HIS3344 : The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1961 - 1990

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

‘If you do not like it here. Piss off, and go over there!’ This was the shorthand slogan often employed after 1949 against those who complained in West Germany. But more than of a latent conservatism the phrase is symptomatic for the fact that both Germanies had to live with the fact that they could not escape from each other, nor could they ignore the physical scar that was running through Berlin, the rest of the country, and in fact the whole continent after 1961. The Berlin Wall is, thus, emblematic for a whole era in German, European and International history: the cold war. This special subject will explore both the wider and specific history of the Berlin Wall and with it the histories of the two German States from the construction of the wall to the eventual downfall.

The module aims to:
1) Examine the political, social, and cultural history of the GDR and FRG after the physical division of the two German States in 1961, and to locate it in the context of modern German history.
2) Identify a range of primary sources and contemporary publications.
3) Examine and evaluate a range of historiographical perspectives.
4) Provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for independent study.
5) Provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide to the topics of the seminar discussions (actual topics may differ from those listed):
1       Prelude: 1949-1961
2       15 August 1961: Plugging the Hole
3       Reactions: Public and Private
4       Getting accustomed to the wall:
5       Over the wall: Flight
6       Living with the Wall: Everyday Life in the GDR - Between Retreat and Acceptance
7       The Wall in Art and Culture
8       Honecker’s GDR: On the road to collapse?
9       9 November 1989
10       3 October 1990
11       From Unification to Colonisation?
12 Preserving the Wall: How to keep Memory alive

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading541:0054:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading541:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching24:008:00Introduction and revision session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching103:0030:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M10500 word commentary
Essay2M10500 word commentary
Essay2M10500 word commentary
Essay2M10500 word handout on presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the
Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions
apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a
degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their
assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:
Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in
addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the
assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure
coverage of the course content to date.
Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word
written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure
coverage of the course content to date.
Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module;
to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the
course content to date.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are
required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable