Final Exam (Take-Home)


Posted May 7, 2017, 2:45 p.m.

Write an analytic essay on one of the following topics, using all of the primary sources assigned for that topic. The exam topics mirror those covered in your respective bibliography projects so that you can build on what you learned through that work. If you would prefer to answer one of the other questions, however, that is okay.

(The source lists are of varying lengths for each topic, but the amount of work required is roughly the same because some sources are longer and/or more challenging than others. Thus, you should choose the topic that you want to do and that you can do well, not the topic that seems to have the fewest items listed.)

As you analyze the sources, remember to pay attention to when they were produced and for whom. In most cases, it would also be wise to review the relevant sections of your textbook (by Hagen) so that you have a clearer idea about the context. See also the important introductory sections offered in GHDI.

Historical context should inform your analysis, as will the historian’s introduction to each specific document and/or image. Nonetheless, your analysis should focus on the primary sources themselves.

This is a final exam, so you are not permitted to discuss or otherwise share your essay with classmates before you submit it. You must analyze the sources by yourself, but you are welcome to consult with classmates about the relevant historical context.

The essay must be 5 to 7 pages long. This length does not include any endnotes or bibliography, which would be extra. Use double-spacing, a 12-point Times New Roman font, and 1-inch margins.

The essay is due via email attachment by Tuesday, May 16, at 10:00 p.m. If you do not receive acknowledgement from me, assume I have not received it and follow up on the issue.

Topics and Sources

Frederick II

Discuss Frederick II’s self-understanding as king of Prussia using the following documents.


Discuss Romanticism using the following sources.

Wars of German Unification

Discuss the military developments behind the so-called wars of German Unification as reflected im the following sources.

Social Change

Discuss the attitudes towards rural and urban workers displayed by their social “superiors” in the following sources. What do they reveal about social relations and social change in this period?


Discuss the anti-Semitism propagated—or countered—in the following documents. What sterotypes were involved? What were its intellectual, cultural, political, and/or social sources? What was its relationship to the authors’ ideas of Germany and national identity?

Völkisch Futures

Analyze the following documents in terms of the image(s) of Germany and Germans they espouse as well as their implicit and/or explicit understanding(s) of politics and war.

Weimar Political Divisions

Below is a selection of documents from early Weimar that reveal the platforms and ideas of the various parties. In what areas was there basic agreement? And disagreement? To what extent was compromise within the Weimar system seemingly possible? Which ideas threatened the very existence of the republic?

Perpetrators in the Holocaust

Analyze the following documents and images. What do they tell us about the war and the Holocaust?

West German Identity and the Holocaust

What do the following sources tell us about West German self-understandings and how the Holocaust was remembered and interpreted?

Consumption in West Germany, 1950s–1980s

What story do the following documents about consumption in West Germany from the 1950s to the 1970s tell? Provide specific examples from the documents.

Women and Work in East and West Germany

What story do the following documents about women and work in East and West Germany tell? Provide specific examples from the documents. (Remember to consider the social and/or political background of each author. Pro tip: this German-German story might not just be about changes and differences but also continuities and similarities.)