HIST281-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

The Third Reich: Terror, Complicity and Resistance

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


This course examines the rise of Nazism in Germany and the responses of Germans to it, including complicity and resistance. Beginning in 1919, the course traces the fortunes of the NSDAP during the Weimar Republic, explains their seizure of power in 1933 and their domestic and foreign policy up until the Second World War, concluding with an examination of the genocidal war they waged between 1939 and 1945.

HIST281 offers students the opportunity to examine how the Third Reich came to power and why it unleashed a genocidal war that both killed 55 million people, including six million Jews, and led to its own destruction. The course’s purpose is also to assess how ordinary Germans responded to Nazism in their daily lives and to ask crucial questions, such as, the extent to which the regime was genuinely popular or dependent on terror to create conformity and consent.

The first twelve lectures provide a detailed overview of the Nazi ascendancy to power and the functioning of the Nazi State, including its terror apparatus, economy, and racial policies. The second half of the course assesses the responses of groups and institutions, including workers, women, young people, and the churches, to the Third Reich before focusing on the war, genocide, resistance, and German defeat. HIST281 also seeks to introduce students to key historiographical debates in the field and to equip them to work extensively with primary sources, which offer an understanding of what Germans thought of the Nazis and how they experienced the Third Reich.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 15 points at 100 level in HIST or CLAS120, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


HIST369, HIST239 before 2011, HIST381

Course Coordinator

Heather Wolffram


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Participation 10% Active participation in tutorials
Tutorial Presentation 10%
Essay 1 20% 2,000 words
Essay 2 20% 2,000 words
Final Exam 40% 2 hours

Please check the course Learn page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST281 Occurrences

  • HIST281-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023