Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
HST 285
Course Title:
The Holocaust
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the aftermath of World War I and the rise of the Nazis, the historical roots of anti-Semitism, the evolution of the Final Solution and its coordination in Nazi-occupied Europe, the victims of Nazi policies, the camps, the perpetrators, bystanders, and the aftermath of the Holocaust. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events during the Holocaust.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The SAC assumes that faculty will assess student learning using some combination of the following assessment strategies:

  • Exams consisting of essay or other method that integrates and requires application of concepts, themes and issues in the course.
  • Written assignments such as papers, reviews, journals and other writing assignments that demonstrate understanding of content knowledge and appropriate application by students of historical materials.
  • Oral presentations, discussions, debates, or role-playing that articulate a comprehensive knowledge of appropriate historical concepts and issues.
  • Projects where students can identify historical resources and utilize these resources to evaluate their validity.
  • Use standard research techniques and acceptable formats in written work and oral presentations.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course Content:

Competencies and skills:

  • Analyze and evaluate historical interpretations on the origins and implementation of the Holocaust
    • Identify an historian¬Ä¬ôs thesis and supporting evidence in Holocaust-related articles and books
  • Analyze and evaluate primary sources related to the Holocaust
    • Connect evidence to the relevant historical context of the Holocaust
    • Recognize and evaluate the creator of historical sources
  • Recognize prejudicial acts that occurred in Germany and in Europe prior to and during the Holocaust era
    • Analyze the role of nationalism in Germany
    • Recognize cultural diversity and the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups to exercise their cultural traditions
    • Analyze the substance of Nazi laws
    • Evaluate the use of various forms of internment including prisons, camps and ghettos
  • Listen, appreciate and respectfully respond to fellow classmates during discussions of various aspects of the Holocaust
    • Work collaboratively with fellow students in discussing aspects of the Holocaust

Themes, Concepts, Issues

  • Cultural diversity
  • Prejudice and racism
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Post World War I Germany
  • The rise of the Nazis
  • Social, economic and political isolation of German Jews prior to 1939
  • Evolution of the Final Solution
  • Life in the ghettos and camps
  • Other groups targeted by the Nazis
  • Perpetrators
  • Bystanders
  • Resistance
  • Aftermath of the Holocaust