MO3410 The Third Reich: History and Historiography
Lecturer Dr R. Bavaj
Credits 30
Availability 2014-15, Semester 2
Class Hour view timetable
Description This module will assess scholarship on the Third Reich. In particular, it will explore debates surrounding Weimar’s demise, the rise of the extreme Right, and the consolidation of power after Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933. Furthermore, this module will explore the building of a ‘racial state’, the formation of a ‘people’s community’, and the relationship between arts and politics. The final weeks will consider Nazism’s ‘modernity’, its ‘totalitarian’ ambitions and the question whether it was a ‘political religion’.
Basic Reading Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (2003), The Third Reich in Power (2005), The Third Reich at War (2009)
Neil Gregor (ed.), Nazism (2000)
Ian Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship. Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation (2000)
Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire. How the Nazis Ruled Europe (2008)

Course Structure

1. Introduction and organisation
2. Weimar: liberal democracy in crisis
3. The rise of the Nazis: Sonderweg or spanner in the works?
4. Seizing & consolidating power
5. Hitler’s rule
6. Building a ‘racial state’
7. Creating a ‘people’s community’
8. The Nazi boom: an economic cul-de-sac?
9. Art, culture, and media: a case of aestheticising politics?
10. Categorizing the Third Reich I: between fascism, totalitarianism, and political religion
11. Categorizing the Third Reich II: between tradition and modernity


60% examination - 3-hour paper
40% coursework - essay, book review, and oral presentation

From 2015-15: 100% coursework:
3,000-word essay (25%)
Group presentation (25%)
2,000-word review article (20%)
4,500-word essay (30%)


Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarity with competing historiographical interpretations of Nazism
  • An understanding of the nuances in the meaning of Nazism
Restrictions Cannot be combined with option on “Dictatorships in 20th Century Europe” (MO3519)
Resource Lists