Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Karen Auerbach


Previously coded HSY2580


This unit examines the Holocaust and its place in the broader phenomenon of genocide and mass killing in history. Major topics covered include antisemitism, the Nazi state, ghettos and death camps, and the responses of victims, perpetrators and bystanders. The course will reflect on the Holocaust as a symbol of the modern condition, its uniqueness and relationship to other forms of violence and genocide. Other themes studied are trauma and testimony, the limits of representation, the survivor experience across generations and cultures, the role of the law in adjudicating war crimes, media coverage of atrocity, and the failure to prevent genocide in the post-war period.


Upon completion, students will be expected to possess:

  1. a knowledge of events leading to the Holocaust, its course and aftermath;
  2. an understanding of Jewish responses to the Holocaust across Europe;
  3. an understanding of the issues involved in representations of the Holocaust, including literature and the arts;
  4. an appreciation of how collective and national memories of genocide are created;
  5. An understanding of the United Nations Genocide Convention and debates about the definition of genocide;
  6. A knowledge of the major cases of post-war mass killing and their relationship to the Holocaust


Participation in class: 10%
Short essay (1000 words): 20%
Long essay (2500 words): 40%
Exam (1000 words equivalent): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Karen Auerbach

Contact hours

2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Human rights theory
Religion and theology
Jewish civilisation
European and European Union studies


A first year sequence in History, or permission