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
Discuss Frederick II’s self-understanding as king of Prussia using the following documents.
- Frederick II, Notes to Himself on the Invasion of Silesia, 1740
- Political Testament of Frederick II, 1752
- Frederick II, “Forms of Government and the Duties of Rulers,” 1777
- Frederick II of Prussia, “General Principles of War,” 1748, issued as Confidential Instructions to his Generals in 1753
Discuss Romanticism using the following sources.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Excerpts from The Sorrows of Young Werther, 1774
- Classical and Romantic Cultural Styles: Exchange of Letters between Clemens Prince von Metternich and King Frederick William IV of Prussia, 1840
- Philipp Otto Runge, The Hülsenbeck Children, 1805-06
- Georg Friedrich Kersting, On Outpost Duty, 1815
- Carl Gustav Carus, Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley, c. 1820
Wars of German Unification
Discuss the military developments behind the so-called wars of German Unification as reflected im the following sources.
- Law on the Introduction of Universal Military Service in Prussia, signed by King Frederick William III, Hardenberg, and Minister of War von Boyen, among Others, September 3, 1814
- Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen: Observations on the State of the Austrian Army, 1854
- Helmuth von Moltke: Memorandum on the Effect of Improvements in Firearms on Battlefield Tactics, 1861
- Helmuth von Moltke: Memoradum on the Possible War between Prussia and Austria, 1866
- Arsenal at Sedan, 1870
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?
- The Rural Landlord and “His” People
- Alfred Krupp, Address to his Employees, February 11, 1877
- Carl Ferdinand von Stumm-Halberg, Address to his Employees, c. 1889
- Working-Class Boarding Houses in Chemnitz and Berlin, 1890
- The Sexual Morals of Working-Class Women: A Male View, 1890
- The Sexual Morals of Working-Class Women: A Female View, c. 1891
- Uneconomic Lifestyles of Workers, as Reported by Bourgeois Critics, 1884 and 1889
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?
- Paul de Lagarde on Liberalism, Education, and the Jews: German Writings, 1886
- Richard Wagner, What is German?, 1865/1878
- The Conservatives Embrace Antisemitism: The Tivoli Program of the German Conservative Party, 1892
- Friedrich Naumann, “What Does Christian-Social Mean?,” 1894
- Shades of the Future? Heinrich Class, 1912
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.
- Statutes of the Pan-German League, 1903
- Shades of the Future? Heinrich Class, 1912
- The Inevitability of War: General Friedrich von Bernhardi, 1912
- Adolf Hitler on 1914, excerpt from Mein Kampf, 1925
- NSDAP Party Program, 1920
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?
- Rosa Luxemburg, “Our Program and the Political Situation,” December 31, 1918
- Action Program of the Independent Social Democratic Party (1919)
- Platform of the Social Democratic Party, 1921 and related image
- Platform of the German Democratic Party, 1919 and related poster
- Guidelines of the German Center Party, 1922 and related poster
- Principles of the German People’s Party, 1919 and related poster
- Principles of the German National People’s Party, 1920
- NSDAP Party Program, 1920
Perpetrators in the Holocaust
Analyze the following documents and images. What do they tell us about the war and the Holocaust?
- Directives for the Treatment of Political Commissars, June 6, 1941
- Gathering Point for Jewish Residents of a Bessarabian Village, September 1941
- Deportation of Stuttgart Jews to Riga, Latvia – Waiting in a Detention Camp on Killesberg Hill, Stuttgart (November 1941)
- “The Wannsee Protocol,” January 20, 1942
- Children from the Lodz Ghetto are Transported to the Chelmno Death Camp, September 1942
- “Total War”: Excerpt from Goebbels’s Speech at the Sportpalast in Berlin, February 18, 1943
- Occupation Terror in the Soviet Union: Partisans are Hanged to Deter Others, c. 1943
- Excerpt from Himmler’s Speech to the SS-Gruppenführer at Posen, October 4, 1943
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?
- Heinrich Böll on the Psychological Impact of the Economic Miracle, 1960
- A Psychological Critique of the Refusal to Accept the Loss of the World War II, 1967
- The Emotional Impact of the Broadcast of “Holocaust,” an American TV Miniseries, in the Federal Republic, 1979
- A Liberal Intellectual Reflects on “the Burden of Being German, ” September 2, 1983
–Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker on the Meaning of Being German, 1986
- The Revisionist Scholar Ernst Nolte Provokes the Historikerstreit or “Quarrel of the Historians,” June 6, 1986
- Social Philosopher Jürgen Habermas on the Meaning of Critical Memory, November 7, 1986
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.
- From the Magazine Ratgeber or “Advice”: Getting Thin, 1950
- The German Camping Club, 1953
- Ludwig Erhard, Prosperity for All, 1957
- “How Much Does a Date Cost?,” 1959
- A Twen Stroll through Berlin, 1960 (Twen is a German word for young people in their twenties. There are teens and twens [pronounced “tvens”].)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll and German Teenagers: Retrospective Account by a German Rock Star, 1980
- The Shift from Movies to Television in the Federal Republic, May 8, 1965
- A Union Justifies the Introduction of the Forty-Hour Work Week, 1966
- A Sociological Analysis of the Spread of Affluence, 1974
- Changes in West German Leisure-Time Habits, 1983
- A British Commentary on the German Passion for Travel, April 5, 1984 (Note that the “on Holiday” in this British text means “on vacation.”)
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.)
- West Germany
- The Role of Women from a Protestant and Catholic Perspective in the 1950s , 1954/1958
- Renate Mayntz on What Motivates Women to Pursue a Career, 1955
- Federal Minister Franz-Josef Wuermeling on the Indispensability of Mothers, excerpt from a Speech on Mother’s Day, 1959
- Family, Child-Rearing, and the Role of Women, December 3, 1961
- Press Statement by Maria Weber, Main Department “Women in the DGB,” on the Working Woman and the Social Situation of the Family, August 30, 1960
- Reforming the Marriage and Family Code, July 9, 1971
- Women’s Liberation Gaining Ground, April 22, 1977
- East Germany
- Recommendations for Promoting Women’s Work in East German Enterprises, 1949
- Letters to the Editor of the Magazine Die Frau von heute or, The Woman of Today: Is the Working Woman a Bad Mother?, 1950
- Housework with Husband and Children, 1955
- Anita Grandke, “Does the Working Woman Destroy her Family?,” June 11, 1960
- Assessment of the 12th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany on Getting Women to Take up Gainful Employment, 1961
- The Family in Light of Women’s Equality, December 20, 1965
- “A Female Engineer Reports, 1986”