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HIST1085 German Jews in Great Britain

Module Overview

The module tries to build a bridge between the fields of German-Jewish history and the history of Jews in Britain. It will give an overview of the situation of Jews in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, focussing on the Weimar Republic and the years shortly before and after 1933. It explores the emigration policy of the regime in Germany and the British attitudes toward immigration. The module will then take a closer look at the processes of immigration (organisation; arrival; distribution in the country) and at the different ways of integration and adaption in Britain. Special attention will be given to personal memoirs and other personal documents as a source for the research of this topic.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• develop an understanding of the history of Jews in Germany and the reasons for their emigration to Britain • learn about the different ways of adaption and acculturation of German Jews in England • encourage you to research aspects of this history (cultural, political, local)

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the relationship between immigrants and the host society
  • the concept(s) of diaspora and “Heimat” (homeland)
  • the creation of immigrant “milieus” in their new country
  • the use of personal documents as sources for historical research
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • present relevant results in a concise manner orally and/or in written form
  • develop a small research project as part of a group
  • write an extended essay efficiently
  • use electronic information-gathering tools effectively and critically.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • digest and access personal documents (letters, diaries, photographs) as sources
  • make a connection between these documents and the general secondary literature about the topic
  • describe the situation of young emigrants in their new country

Syllabus

The unit tries to build a bridge between the fields of German-Jewish history and the history of Jews in Britain. It will give an overview of the situation of Jews in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, focussing on the Weimar Republic and the years shortly before and after 1933. It explores the emigration policy of the regime in Germany and the British attitudes toward immigration. The unit will then take a closer look at the processes of immigration (organisation; arrival; distribution in the country) and at the different ways of integration and adaptation in Britain. Special attention will be given to personal documents. Topics to be studied might include: The history of Jews in Germany since the Enlightenment Jewish life and culture in Weimar Germany and in inter-War Britain Jewish reactions to the Nazi seizure of power in Germany Emigration politics in Germany and Europe Arriving in Britain Personal documents of German-Jewish immigrants German-Jewish circles and “landsmannshaften” in Britain Contributions (Film, Literature etc.) Remembering the Kindertransport Exhibitions: Past and Present

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods will include: • weekly one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar • directed individual and group activities around primary sources • short presentations given by students on the module • group discussions including feedback from the tutor Lectures are designed to introduce you to key themes, historical debates and historians' approaches. Further reading and seminar discussions of primary and secondary source material are designed to consolidate your knowledge and understanding. In seminar discussions you will be expected to engage in critical analysis of primary sources and to formulate and articulate arguments. And you will be encouraged to express your own ideas about a topic. Learning activities will include: • independent study, reading and research in preparation for each seminar • putting together and delivering short presentations as directed by the lecturer • in-depth study of textual and visual primary sources • participation in small group and whole seminar discussions Learning and teaching activities are designed to help you investigate the main themes and issues of the module. These activities will include directed and self-directed study, for example through preparatory reading and library and on-line research. Particular attention will be paid to the different approaches historians have used, and the presentations you give will focus on getting to grips with these approaches, using the reading list of secondary literature provided at the start of the module. You will also study (on your own and in seminars) a wide range of primary written and visual sources. These activities will help you to prepare for the essay and examination exercises. You will receive feedback on your progress via seminar and group discussions and in responses to your presentations.

TypeHours
Wider reading or practice12
Completion of assessment task54
Preparation for scheduled sessions36
Revision24
Lecture12
Seminar12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Germans in Britain since 1500 (1996). Germans in Britain since 1500. 

“In London treffen wir uns wieder.” Vier Spaziergänge durch ein vergessenes Kapitel deutscher Kulturgeschichte nach 1933 (2000). “In London treffen wir uns wieder.” Vier Spaziergänge durch ein vergessenes Kapitel deutscher Kulturgeschichte nach 1933. 

The Streets of Belsize (1991). The Streets of Belsize. 

German-Speaking Exiles in Great Britain. Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, vol. 1-3; Refugees of the Third Reich in Britain, vol. 4; ‘Stimme der Wahrheit’. German-Speaking Exiles in Great Britain. Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, vol. 1-3; Refugees of the Third Reich in Britain, vol. 4; ‘Stimme der Wahrheit’. 

Theatre and Film in Exile. German Artists in Britain 1933-1945 (1989). Theatre and Film in Exile. German Artists in Britain 1933-1945. 

Three Rabbis in a Vicarage. The Story of Belsize Square Synagogue (2005). Three Rabbis in a Vicarage. The Story of Belsize Square Synagogue. 

Between Two Languages. German-speaking Exiles in Great Britain 1933-1945 (1995). Between Two Languages. German-speaking Exiles in Great Britain 1933-1945. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Examination  (1 hours) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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