HIST 325

Totalitarian Dictatorships in Twentieth Century Europe

This course examines dictatorial regimes that had an enormous destructive impact on Europe and the world in the twentieth century: Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, and Mussolini's Italy. Using the comparative method, it addresses central issues in the histories of the three states that scholars have often grouped together under the concept of totalitarianism: the rise to power of political movements; the harnessing of the vast powers of the modern state for ideological projects such as racial empire and communist utopianism; explaining collaboration, conformity and resistance with secret police agencies; and the impact of dictatorships on culture, gender, and everyday life. Readings include scholarly works and primary source materials such as diaries, letters of denunciation, and fictional works.