HIST3205 - Genocide, Holocaust and memory


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Home examination 100/100 3 days

Course content

Based on a historical analysis of different genocides we will analyse the structures and preconditions that have led to genocide, the role of elites and “ordinary” people and the response of the international community. We will discuss the term "genocide", and whether and in what regard the Holocaust occupies a unique position among the genocides. The course shall also address the limits and advantages of a comparative approach.
The key focus is on the impact of genocide on societies: the impact on victims and perpetrators, the role of justice, and the question of how perpetrator-societies can come to terms with their past.
We will address the role of memory, the political use (and abuse) of genocide through denial or instrumentalisation, and the crucial role of historians in establishing facts to counter such tendencies.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has passed the course will have obtained the following overall knowledge and skills, according to curriculum description of the topic:

The candidate will
a) gain knowledge of the historical context in which major genocides and ethnic cleansings took place as well as the preconditions that facilitated them.
b) obtain detailed knowledge of the implementation of selected genocides and be able to identify and reflect critically upon the categories of "victim" and "perpetrator".
c) attain an awareness of the (mis)use of history in genocides and the problem of genodice denial.
d) gain insights into the different strategies societies used to reestablish social peace after a genocide, and in the important role of historical memory for victims and societies trying to come to terms with their past.
e) understand and explain legal terms (e.g. the United Nations Convention on Genocide) and key concepts in comparative genocide studies, and gain awareness of the challenges associated with the legal prosecution of perpetrators and perpetrator states.

After the completion of the coure, the candidate shall be able to
a) discuss, summarise and communicate a complex topic to a wider audience through written and oral presentations.
b) identify and reflect upon ideological, economic, social and security factors that contributed to a genocidal development.
c) undertake an independent analysis of different genocides on a scientifically verifiable basis.

Learning methods and activities

Seminar based on discussion of assigned literature and group work. 3-4 texts have to be read for each unit.

Compulsory assignments

  • Presentation during seminar
  • Assignment

Further on evaluation

There will be three obligatory assignments (one oral and two written) that must be approved for the exam. Home examination.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

BA in history or equivalent.

Course materials

Information will be given at the start of the course


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100
Spring ORD Home examination 100/100
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.