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Camden College of Arts and Science
Department of Philosophy and Religion

Religion 332:    Antisemitism and the Holocaust
Fall 2002

Professor Stuart Charmé
Office:  463 Armitage
Office hours:  Tuesday/Thursday 3-4
Phone:  856-225-6237

Course news and updates
Course requirements
Course schedule and Assignments
Antisemitism and Holocaust Websites



Welcome to the class!  This website contains all the assignments and all the handouts for the course.   Make sure you print out your own copies of any readings, study questions, or other material and bring them to class when they are being discussed.

For Thursday, December 5:  NO CLASS DUE TO SNOW

FOR Tuesday, December 10---Last Day of Class


Read Unit #17
Short comments about their research from
Katie, Andrea and Justin, Anita and Kim
Lauren and Joe, Jennifer
[No papers or make-up work accepted after this date.]

Please send a final e-mail to your group describing the most important thing you learned from the course.

3rd Quiz-- Study questions for quiz, click here

Old Assignments

Student Webpages:

Christian Theology and the Holocaust--Kyle

Theories of Racism and Antisemitism--Kira and Chris

Anti-Semitism in Nazi Propaganda, 1933-1945--Kristen and Stephanie

Leaders of the SS--Frank



Righteous Gentiles--Elaine and Elyn

Liberation of Holocaust Survivors--Marisa
Survivors of the Holocaust--Colleen

The Holocaust and Other Genocides--Katie

Anti-Semitism and Racism on the Internet --Andrea and Justin
Extremism in America--Anita and Kim

Jews and Art:The Art of Persecution--Amy

Holocaust Denial--Lauren and Joe
Holocaust Denial--Jennifer

 IMPORTANT:  This web syllabus will change regularly during the semester.  It is your responsibility to check for any changes to assignments between each class.             Last updated:  12/5/02

This course  offers an opportunity to examine the roots of antisemitism in western civilization and the path leading to the ultimate antisemitic outburst, the genocidal program of the Nazis now known as the Holocaust. We will try to understand how and why the holocaust happened, and to analyze the behavior of the victims, the executioners, and the survivors. We will then examine the implications of the holocaust for modern religion, for theories of human nature, and for situations we confront today and in the future. The course draws on material from history, psychology, ethics, theology, and literature in order to evaluate the possible responses to the Holocaust.


1.  Reading assignments and class participation. The success of this course will depend on the degree to which the instructor and the students exchange ideas, share reactions to issues and events, raise questions, and develop sensitivity to the experiences of the people involved in the holocaust. It is crucial that each student keeps up with the reading in order to participate in the discussion both in class in his/her computer discussion group (See #3).  For most of the readings there are study questions provided to help you focus on the most important issues in the readings.   You should use these study questions while you are reading.   Questions on quizzes will be drawn directly from these questions.

Regular attendance is also important for the success of the class. More than 4 absences during the semester will lower your grade. (5-8 absences = -1/2 grade; 9+ = -1 full grade or more)

2. Journal/Readings annotations-- Each student must keep a personal journal separate from his/her normal class notes. In the journal you will note
    1) the title of each reading assignment you complete
    2) the date you completed it
    3) your own annotations to either the readings or any material discussed in class.
        Annotations are your concise reactions to the material you are reading, a kind of capsule
        review.  Journals will be handed in once a month.    Your journal may be either hand-
        written or word processed.

3. E-mail discussion group -- After the first class, I will subscribe you to one of three e-mail discussion groups.  There are no rules for this discussion other than that it be intelligent, respectful, and somehow related to the topic of the course.  You will be expected to make at least one contribution per week.   Participation is included in your final grade.

Group 1 (last names from A to G)
Group 2 (last names from H to O)
Group 3 (last names from P to Z)

4.   Resource guide on a selected topicDUE:  Nov. 26.
You will prepared an annotated guide to materials one of these topics or any other approved topic.   If more than one student wants to work on a topic, you can work together.

Your resource guide should include a) an introduction that discusses the most important issues or questions and b) an annotated references in these categories:   1) Books;   2) Articles;  3) Websites;  4) Films or other materials.    The resource guide should be in the form of a webpage that you can publish.   Sample website

For help on publishing a web page at Rutgers, click here.

If you want to publish your web page with a different internet provider, you can do so, but you'll
have to figure out how to do so yourself.

Topics:  Antisemitism and the Bible
             Christian Antisemitism
             Antisemitism in France before the Nazis
             19th Century German Antisemitism
             Theories of Racism and Antisemitism
             Hitler's Ideas about Race and Jews
             Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust
             Righteous Gentiles
             The Holocaust and Christian Theology
              American Policy toward Jews and the Holocaust
              Antisemitism in the U.S. History
              Antisemitism and Racism on the Internet
              The Catholic Church and the Holocaust
              The Phenomenon of Holocaust Denial
              Antisemitism in the African-American Community
              Relationship of the Holocaust to other modern Genocides
              Neo-Nazis groups in the United States
           Muslim Antisemitism

After preparing your resource guide, you should be prepared to talk about your topic in class for 5 minutes or so.

5. Short Essays -- There will be several short essay assignments.   Instructions to follow.

6. Quizzes -- There will be approximately 4 quizzes.   Quiz questions will be drawn primarily from the Study Questions you have received.

If for any reason you need to miss class on the day a quiz is given, you must do the following in order to make-up the quiz.

a.  Notify me (by phone or e-mail) prior to class explaining why you need to miss the quiz.
b.  Schedule a time to make-up the quiz before the next class.

You will not be able to make up the quiz if you do not do these two things.   Simply not showing up on a quiz day and asking to make it up later is not sufficient.   No make-up quizzes are given after I have returned graded quizzes to the class.

7.  Films -- There may be several films that you will be assigned to rent and watch on your own or watch on campus, depending on scheduling possibilities.

8.  Trip to Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC -- On Sunday, November 3, there will be a class trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.  The cost for the trip [bus, museum admission, etc.] will be approximately $20.   This is a required trip.  Please make necessary arrangements to be available this day.   The trip will leave Camden at 8 am and return around 8 pm.    Instructions for your report on the museum


Rubenstein and Roth, Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and its Legacy
If you do not yet have a book (I think the bookstore is out), I recommend you try this website to locate other copies.   Click here.

Spiegelman, Maus I, II
Wiesenthal, The Sunflower
Wiesel, Night

On-line readings: On the schedule below, you will find links to additional articles.  For most these you will be asked to enter your Rutgers computer account username and password to access the readings.   Whether or not you use this account for e-mail, you must at least open the account so that you have a Rutgers username and password.   If you do not yet have a Rutgers computer account, you can set it up by going to:
IMPORTANT: When you access on-line readings, please remember that you must type "your-username@clam" to be recognized by the Rutgers system.   If you leave off @clam it won't work. [Don't include ""]

COURSE SCHEDULE (approximate)
1 General Issues and Questions Rubenstein and Roth, "Prologue," 3-20 (Study Questions)
2 Greco-Roman and Christian Antisemitism Rubenstein and Roth, "The Jew as Outsider," 23-45  (Study Questions)
"New Testament writings about Jews"
3 The Growth of Christian Antisemitism Rubenstein and Roth, "The Triumph of Christianity and the Teaching of Contempt," 46-65 (Study Questions)
"Church Laws and Antisemitism"
Martin Luther, "The Jews and Their Lies" [excerpt]
Why Anti-Semitism?--An Evangelical View
4 From Emancipation to Dreyfus  Rubenstein and Roth, "The Irony of Emancipation: A French Connection" 66-89 (Study Questions)
5 The Development of German Antisemitism Rubenstein and Roth, "Toward Total Domination" 95-108 (Study Questions)
German Antisemitism
"The Jews in Hitler's Mental World" (Study Questions)
Excerpt from Hitler's "Mein Kampf"
6 The Nazi treatment of the Jews-1933-1939 Rubenstein and Roth, "Toward Total Domination" -con't 108-125  (Study Questions)
"Hitler's Rise to Power & the Legislative Attack on the Jews"
Nurenberg Laws
"What Would You Do?"-1930-1931
"What Would You Do?"-1936
"What Would You Do?"-1938
7 World War and the Final Solution Rubenstein and Roth, "War and the Final Solution" 126-158  (Study Questions)
"Eyewitness Account of Einsatzgruppen Execution "Testimony of a Survivor"
8 Victims and Survivors: Life in the Ghettoes  Spiegelman, Maus I, II 
Rubenstein and Roth, "Victims and Survivors" 159-196  (Study Questions)
The Warsaw Ghetto
"What Would You Do?"-Ghettoes and Judenrat
"What Would You Do?"-Partisans
9  Life in the Camps The Dilemma of Choice in the Deathcamps
An Episode at Auschwitz 
Night and Fog [script]-film 

Wiesel, Night 
[optional:  background information on Elie Wiesel]
Passover Song 

10 The Question of Resistance

Written assignment on MAUS, Night, Last Days due 

Jewish Resistance to Nazism: Its Various Forms and Aspects(and Study Questions) 

11  The Portraits of the Perpetrators What would you do?-Einsatzgruppen
"Destroying the Innocent with a Clear Conscience" (+ study questions)
12 The Role of the Bystander: 
Accomplice or Rescuer
Rubenstein and Roth, "Business as Usual" 229-253  (Study Questions)
IBM and the Holocaust
"The People of Le Chambon" 
"The Courage of a Polish Woman"
"What Would You Do?"--Bystander 
13 Responses of the Rest of the World to the Holocaust "American Attitudes About Jewish Refugees"
"The Abandonment of the Jews" 
14 The Christian Churches Response to the Holocaust  Rubenstein and Roth, "Their Brothers' Keepers?" 199-228  (Study Questions
"French Church Apologizes to Jews for Silence in Holocaust"
"The Pope's in a Confessional and Jews are
"We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah" 
15 The Issue of Moral Responsibility:  Justice vs. Forgiveness Wiesenthal, The Sunflower
Written assignment on the Sunflower- 500 words
16 Theological Implications of the Holocaust for Judaism and Christianity Rubenstein and Roth, "The Silence of God" 290-336  (Study Questions
"Religious Responses of Jewish Holocaust
17 Implications of the Holocaust for Modern Society Rubenstein and Roth, "The Legacy of the Holocaust" 339-364
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
18 Muslim Antisemitism and other contemporary forms Saudi Arabian Anti-Semitism

old assignments:

9/5   Write an entry (250-300 words) for the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Ethnic and Religious Stereotypes" on the topic "Jew."  Use as many examples as you can of stereotypes you have personally heard or know of.   Go to the Internet and look for examples of stereotypes of Jews.    (use keywords like antisemitism, KKK, Aryan Nation, White Power, White Supremacists, Kike, ZOG)  Try to find actual examples not just descriptions by outsiders.

9/10  FOR Tueday, September 10:  Read the Prologue of Approaches to Auschwitz and the first part of Chapter 1, up to p. 31.   Make sure you look at the study questions.

FOR Thursday, September 12:  Read Approaches to Auschwitz,  Chapter 1   Make sure you look at the study questions.

FOR Tuesday, September 17:  Review study question for Approaches to Auschwitz,  Chapter 1.   Read selections on Jews in the New Testament on syllabus.    Read Chapter 2.

Please comment on the issue of how the early Christian Church portrays Jews.
If you have not sent at least one e-mail you are now behind.

FOR Thursday, September 19:   We will finish discussing the issue of Christian Antisemitism.   Read:
"Church Laws and Antisemitism"
Martin Luther, "The Jews and Their Lies" [excerpt]
Why Anti-Semitism?--An Evangelical View

FOR Tuesday, September 24:   QUIZ on Approaches to Auschwitz, Prologue, chapters 1-2.   The quiz will consist of 5-6 questions drawn from the Study Questions you have.   Your answers should be complete, concise paragraphs that answer the questions fully.

We will finish discussing the issue of Christian Antisemitism.   Read:
"Church Laws and Antisemitism"
Martin Luther, "The Jews and Their Lies" [excerpt]

For Thursday, September 26:   READ  Rubenstein and Roth, "The Irony of Emancipation: A French Connection" 66-89
For Tuesday, October 1:

         We will begin Unit 5.   Read the following.

         "Toward Total Domination" 95-108
         German Antisemitism
         "The Jews in Hitler's Mental World"

 Tuesday, October 8:

We will finish Units 5 and 6.   If you have not finished the readings in those sections, please do so.

I will collect money this week for the trip to Washington.  Cost is $20.   I will have a limited number of seats available for for friends and relatives on a first-come first-serve basis.

We will discuss possible topics for your research guides.

For Thursday Oct. 10th:

Review study questions for all readings in Units 4, 5, 6.   Please discuss by e-mail any questions you have trouble with, and also bring your questions to class.

Please sign up and pay for trip on Thursday, if you haven't already.

For Tuesday, October 15:

Please send an e-mail response regarding your answer to the "What Would You Do?" 1936, 1938

Start reading next chapter in Rubinstein and Roth book.

QUIZ on units 4, 5, 6.
The quiz questions will be chosen from among these questions:

How did the French Revolution affect the political, social and economic status of the Jews in Europe? [66]

How did the Enlightenment both contribute to the movement for emancipation of the Jews, but also to the development of racist antisemitism. [67-68]

Why did the Catholic Church oppose the emancipation of the Jews[69-70]

What was the Dreyfus affair? [77-81] What was the significance of comparing Dreyfus to Judas?
[79, 85]

What are "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?" [82] What was the appeal of the theory of a secret Jewish conspiracy? [82-3]

What was the appeal of Hitler to Germans in the late 1920s and early 1930s? [100-101, 104]
What were the steps by which Hitler gained political power in Germany? [102-104]
What differences were there in the basic values of German Jews and German non-Jews? (105)

According to Hitler, in what ways are "Jews" different from "Germans"?

What connection does Hitler see between Marxism and the Jews? What other economic images
of the Jews does Hitler employ?

What kinds of religious language does Hitler use to describe his campaign against the Jews?

What is the difference between rational and irrational antisemitism?  What are examples of each
kind of antisemitism?  What are the advantage and disadvantages of each? [108-110]

What is meant by "paper violence"?  How did the Nazis legislate antisemitism?  110-111]

What were the Nuremberg laws?  What political and social consequences did they have?  [113]

Why was forced emigration of Jews an unsuccessful policy?  [120-123]

How did the behavior of the rest of the world convince Hitler that the Jews were in fact a
"surplus people?" [124-125]

FOR Thursday, October 17,   Read assignment in Unit 7 on the syllabus.

FOR Tuesday, October 22,   Read MAUS, vol. 1
FOR Thursday, October 24,   Read MAUS, vol. 2
For Tuesday, October 29:
If you were not in class on Thursday, you will need to rent the film we saw "Last Days" at a local video store, since we will discuss it in class and you will also need to have seen it for your next written assignment.   Make sure you send an e-mail response to the film before the next class.

Finish reading MAUS, if you haven't already done so.   In addition, finish as much as you can of Rubenstein and Roth, "Victims and Survivors" 159-196

For Thursday, October 31:

We will have a short visit from a Holocaust survivor.
Read Rubenstein and Roth, "Victims and Survivors" 159-196

For Tuesday, November 5:

I will collect your journals today.

Send an e-mail response to Leon Kahn's dilemma in "What would you do?--Partisans"

Review study questions on chaper 6 in "Approaches to Auschwitz" and make notes of any that need clarification.

Read the first two selections in Unit 9, and begin Night if you can.

For Thursday, November 7:    Finish reading Night.
Report on Holocaust Museum due
[Note new shorter length.]

For Thursday, November 14:  Read Unit #11, The Perpetrators
For Tuesday, November 16:  Unit #12 Bystanders

For Thursday, November 21:  Read Unit #14, "Christian Responses to the Holocaust"
Thursday, November 14:  Essay on Maus, Last Days, Night due
Thursday, November 21: Website workshop:  Rough draft of research in Word
                                               file on disk should be done.   12:30 pm in the Library
                                               basement computer lab.
Tuesday, November 26   Your Website should be up and operational.   Please e-mail the website address to Professor Charme by this date.
For class, read:
Unit 14, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah"
Unit 16, "Religious Responses of Jewish Holocaust Survivors"

For Tuesday, December 3:   Read Unit #16

Brief statements about their research from:
Kristen and Stephanie, Marisa, Colleen