JUS 332 Jewish Responses to the Holocaust

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JUS 332 is an exploration of the Holocaust (Shoah) through the experiences, roles and responses of Jewish individuals as represented through diary, testimony (oral), memoir, poetry, photography and film. In order to substantively examine the varied roles and responses of Jewish people to the events of the Holocaust, the course will simultaneously investigate the historical, geographical, political and socio-cultural frameworks within which the Holocaust took place.

An exploration of Jewish experiences during the Holocaust illuminates and complicates history while raising questions of agency, morality and the behavior and decisions of individuals confronted with innumerable “choiceless choices” (Langer). This study of the Holocaust is not constructed toward definitive answers; rather, it is designed as an excavation of layers of unanswerable questions.

These questions are exposed and probed to provide students the opportunity to deeply consider the myriad responses Jews had, and continue to have, to the moral, practical and existential dilemmas forced upon them during the Shoah.

For course syllabus, currently enrolled students go to the D2L website.

Course Syllabus

Course Prerequisites: 

None but recommended are two courses from Tier One courses or JUS 301 Jewish Civilizations: A Gateway Course.

Course Description: 

The course will consist of lectures, discussions and film screenings aligned to the weekly readings. Guest lecturers will be invited to participate in or lead discussions on topics such as the history of anti-Semitism, Jewish life in Europe before World War II, the Nuremberg Laws and the responses of the orthodox Jewish community. Holocaust survivors will be invited, on occasion, to participate in discussions and to provide testimonial.

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