Divided Germany 1945-1990 (HIH1537)

StaffDr Nicholas Terry - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the two Germanys (the FRG and the GDR) during the Cold War. By assessing and evaluating a variety of sources students will explore the political significance of divided Germany, its politicised nature, and the relationship between East and West Germany. Students will also compare and contrast conflicting responses to particular events such as political events and developments, 1968, and personal events. By examining and analysing the sources in detail they will not only study recent German history but will also consider issues such as the reliability, usefulness, and fallibility of sources.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Assess the nature of East and West Germany in the period 1945-1990.
  • 2. Work critically with a range of sources relating to East and West Germany.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. bias, reliability, etc., and to compare the validity of different types of source. Ability to answer a question briefly and concisely. Ability to present work orally, to respond to questions orally, and to think quickly of questions to ask other students.
  • 4. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
  • 5. Present work orally, to respond to questions orally, and to think quickly of questions to ask other students.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 8. Work with others in a team and interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
  • 9. Write to a very tight word-length.

Syllabus plan

1          Introduction: The two Germanys in context

2          Constitutions: the politics of the two Germanies

3          Eyewitness testimonies: the expulsions from Eastern Europe

4          Photographs: two Berlin crises

5          Family, gender and sexuality

6          Consumer culture in the two Germanies

7          From protest to terrorism: underground manifestos and articles

8          Diplomatic sources: Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik

9          The Nazi past: Concentration camps, museums, monuments

10        Police reports: the East German dissident movement

11        Concluding session: Debates in reunified Germany

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Seminars (11x2hr)
Guided independent study128Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation (3-4 students)10-15 minutes 1-3, 5-8Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of seven essays77400 to 500 word1-4, 7, 9mark and written comments
Essay231000 word1-4, 7, 9mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of seven 400-500 word essaysPortfolio of seven essays1-4, 7, 9August/September assessment period
1 x 1000 word essay1 x 1000 word essay1-4, 7, 9August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

You will be required to submit the same written work as for the summative assessment; if you are referred your mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Ahonen, Pertti, After the Expulsion: West Germany and Eastern Europe, 1945-1990 (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003)
Berger, Stefan, Germany (London: Arnold, 2004)
Fulbrook, Mary, History of Germany, 1918 – 2000: The Divided Nation (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002)
Fulbrook, Mary, Interpretations of the Two Germanys (London: MacMillan, 2000)
Herf, Jeffrey, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, 1997)
Kleßmann, Christoph (ed.), The Divided Past: Rewriting Post-War German History (Oxford: Berg, 2001)
Koshar, Rudy, Germany’s Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill; London: University of North Carolina Press, 1998)
Koshar, Rudy, From Monuments to Traces: Artefacts of German Memory, 1870 – 1990 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000)
Poiger, Uta G., Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany (Berkeley, Calif.; London: University of California Press, 2000)

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