- Department: History
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Hugo Service
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: M
- Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
Before the Second World War millions of ethnic Germans lived outside Germany across Eastern Europe. Many
were former residents of the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which both collapsed at the end
of the First World War. But many hundreds of thousands lived beyond those territories. What happened to them
all? Why are there no longer millions living in Eastern Europe today? This module will delve deeply into that
Using a range of primary source materials and scholarship, students will study the fate of these people since 1918
in depth. They will grapple with the role these minorities played in relations between Germany and Eastern
European states before, during and after the Second World War. They will examine the participation of ethnic
German minorities in Nazi Germany’s fighting, atrocities and genocide during the war. They will study the
uprooting of most ethnic Germans during and immediately after the war, as well as the integration of these
people in a postwar Germany divided between two states after the 1940s. They will also study how remaining
members of these populations got to grips with life in Eastern European countries during the decades since the
war, including how they responded to pressures to assimilate. Students will then probe into how the fate of
ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe before 1950 has been perceived, remembered and manipulated in Germany
and Eastern Europe since then, through to the present, including the struggles and conflicts this has involved.
|A||Autumn Term 2020-21|
The module aims to:
After completing this module students should have:
a) Acquired an advanced understanding of a topic of contemporary European history
b) Developed advanced skills in critical evaluation and in interpreting information and ideas drawn from
primary sources and scholarship
c) Enhanced their capacity to express sophisticated ideas and arguments in writing and orally
d) Increased their ability to undertake independent research
e) Reflected critically on concepts such as ethnicity, nation, race and memory.
f) Thought deeply about how societies come to terms with and make use of the past, and about the
historian’s role and responsibility in this
Students will attend eight weekly two-hour seminars in weeks 2-9.
The provisional outline for the module is as follows:
1. German minorities in Eastern Europe after WWI
2. The German minorities and the path to war
3. Volksdeutsche, ethnic cleansing and genocide during WWII
4. The flight, deportation and expulsion of German populations 1944-49
5. German minorities in postwar Eastern Europe
6. German refugees and expellees in the postwar Germanys
7. Divided memories of Germans in Eastern Europe and their uprooting before 1989
8. Memory wars since 1989
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Essay 4000 words
Students will complete a 2,000-word procedural essay for formative assessment, due in week 6 of the autumn term. They will then submit a 4,000-word assessed essay for summative assessment in week 2 of the spring term.
For further details about assessed work, students should refer to the Taught Masters Degrees Statement of Assessment.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Essay 4000 words
Following their formative assessment task, students will receive written feedback consisting of comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their procedural work during their tutor’s student hours. For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.
For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. The tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.
For term time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading:
R. M. Douglas, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of Germans after the Second Word War. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2012.
Robert G. Moeller, War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany. Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University of California Press, 2001.
Jürgen Tampke, Czech-German Relations and the Politics of Central Europe: From Bohemia to the EU. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Tara Zahra, Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900-1948.
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.