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REL570: The Holocaust

How did the Holocaust happen? How could some people commit such heinous crimes, while others remained bystanders, and still others risked their lives to save innocent people?

How did the Holocaust happen? How could some people commit such heinous crimes, while others remained bystanders, and still others risked their lives to save innocent people? We will attempt to answer these questions and many more as we examine the Holocaust from the perspective of the human capacity for good and evil. Discussions of human behavior as well as the religious and historical sources of anti-Semitism will be examined as background to the events of the 1930s and 1940s. Students will also read Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower to reflect on questions of remembrance and forgiveness. The course will culminate with a project of each student's own design.