About this Course
4.8
492 ratings
123 reviews
The Holocaust was an inconceivable historical event, which forever robbed Western culture of its innocence. As civilized human beings, we fail to understand how events of such horror could have taken place, and how an idea so inhumanly warped could have spread like wildfire through an entire continent, instigating the systematic annihilation of millions of Jews. This free online course was produced jointly by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. The course tracks the history of the Holocaust and has two parts. "The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World" is the first of the two courses and covers the following themes in its three weeks: Week 1: From Hatred to Core Ideology We will try to delve into Nazi ideology and the special place of Jews and Judaism in it. We will also discuss how the National Socialist Party converted the German Democracy of the Weimar Republic into a totalitarian regime within a short period of time, and its meaning for Jews and non-Jewish citizens. Week 2: The World and the Jews in World War II We will try to examine the broader contexts of the Holocaust and to place it, as part of World War 2. In this meeting we will also refer to the vital Jewish world to be found under various Nazi occupations and influences. Week 3: The Isolation Abyss - the Perspective of the Individual We will try to reveal different aspects of Jewish life in the face of the badge of shame, ghettos and segregation, as well as the formation of individual, societies’ and leader’s reactions in the face of a consistent policy of dispossession and discrimination. Once you’ve completed this course, you can continue your learning with The Holocaust - An Introduction (II): The Final Solution (https://www.coursera.org/learn/holocaust-introduction-2/home/welcome) This online course is offered in an innovative, multi-level format, comprising: * Comprehensive lectures by leading researchers from Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem. * A wealth of voices and viewpoints presented by guest lecturers. * Numerous documents, photos, testimonies and works of art from the time of the Holocaust. * Novel learning experience: Crowd sourcing – involving the learners themselves in the act of collecting and shaping information, via unique, exciting online assignments. REQUIREMENTS: This course is designed for anyone with an interest in the Holocaust, including students, teachers, academics and policy-makers....
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Flexible deadlines

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Clock

Suggested: 3 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 7 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English, Polish, Hebrew, Spanish
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 3 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 7 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Polish, Hebrew, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

From Hatred to Core Ideology; From Democracy to a Totalitarian State; Nazi Germany and the Jews

We will try to delve into Nazi ideology and the special place of Jews and Judaism in it. We will ask ourselves what, if anything, it renewed regarding traditional hatred of Israel and modern anti-Semitism and analyze Nazi documents to see how it reflects in them. Also, in this lesson we will discuss how the National Socialist Party succeeded in converting the German Democracy of the Weimar Republic into a totalitarian regime within a short period of time, and the significance of this process for its citizens - Jews and non-Jews alike....
Reading
8 videos (Total 81 min), 3 readings
Video8 videos
Introduction: why the Holocaust, why history, why this course?9m
Why the Jews? Traditional anti-Semitism as a central background12m
The uniqueness of Nazi anti-Semitism and its place in the NS ideology10m
1933: Gleichschaltung11m
1933-1939: Life in Nazi Germany9m
1933-1939: Jewish life in Nazi Germany10m
1938 - A Major Turning Point14m
Reading3 readings
What's next?10m
Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews10m
Wolfgang Benz, “Exclusion as a Stage in Persecution: The Jewish Situation in Germany, 1933-1941”10m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The World and the Jews in World War II

We will try to examine the broader contexts of the Holocaust and to position it as a part of a various global conflicts that took place during world war 2. In this context, we will focus in a number of unique realities that were formed and created in Occupied Poland and France using them to identify key practices of Nazi Germany, European companies and the Jews who lived among them. We’ll look at the different fates of Jews in various European countries before and during World War 2, through the lens of the enormous changes which the Jewish world underwent in modern times: emancipation, secularization, urbanization and emigration....
Reading
6 videos (Total 70 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
From the Historian's Desk - Visual Documentation13m
Focus on Poland11m
Focus on France and Paris11m
A World at War and world Jewry10m
Europe and its Jews between the two world wars12m
Reading2 readings
Judith Levin and Daniel Uziel, “Ordinary Men Extraordinary Photos – Photographs”10m
Denis Peschanski, “The Statues on Jews – October 3, 1940 and June 2, 1942”10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Check you’ve understood what you’ve learned so far12m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Abyss of Isolation - the perspective of the individual

Instead of policy, state and society at large, we’ll focus on the individual, the family and the Jewish communities across Europe, using a broad range of wartime accounts: official documents, diaries, letters, artwork and more. In this context, we will try to reveal different aspects of Jewish life in the face of shame, ghettos and segregation, as well as the formation of individual, societies and leaders reactions in the face of consistent policy of dispossession and discrimination. A variety of sources will help us create a complex puzzle consists of Jewish life in those dark days. In this context, we will try to reveal different aspects of Jewish life in the face of shame, ghettos and segregation, as well as the formation of individual, societies and leaders reactions in the face of consistent policy of dispossession and discrimination. A variety of sources will help us create a complex puzzle consists of Jewish life in those dark days....
Reading
7 videos (Total 66 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Ghettoization10m
The Warsaw Ghetto10m
Isolation with no Walls10m
Leadership12m
Future Expectations and Rumors9m
The Holocaust - an introduction - Partial conclusions2m
Reading3 readings
Instructions by Heydrich on Policy and Operations concerning Jews in the Occupied Territories, September 21, 19392m
Miron, Guy and Shlomit Shulhani, "General Introduction", The Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos During the Holocaust10m
Michael Wildt, "Generation of the Unbound: The Leadership Corps of the Reich Security Main Office"10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Check your understanding20m
4.8

Top Reviews

By DMar 28th 2016

A fascinating personal account of the atrocity while the world watched! This class is for everyone there is so much more to learn, thank you for everything you went out of you way to help, God Bless

By MMFeb 27th 2016

Insightful and In-depth introductory of the events leading to the catastrophic events of holocausts coupled with engaging quiz. Additional reading supplements were great as well. Recommended

Instructors

Professor Havi Dreifuss, PhD

Professor
Havi Dreifuss is a historian of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe; senior lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at TAU; heads the Center for Research of Holocaust History in Poland, Yad Vashem.

Dr Na'ama Bela Shik, PhD

Director, Educational Technology Department, The International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
The International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem

About Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University (TAU) is Israel's largest institution of higher learning – with over 30,000 students and more than 125 schools and departments in nine faculties. Global in outlook and impact, it is consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities, as well as the top 20 institutions in terms of scientific citations. A spirit of openness and innovation is evident in all of TAU's teaching and research activities, breaking down barriers between disciplines, and boldly striving to address the twenty-first century's most pressing challenges....

About Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center, stands resolute in its dedication to Holocaust education, remembrance, documentation and research. Located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem continues to develop advanced educational tools and utilize cutting-edge technology in order to bring its world-class research facilities, flourishing archives, groundbreaking educational initiatives and steadfast commitment to Shoah remembrance to an ever-growing global audience. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.