From 2007 until 2020 Jost Hermand and Marc Silberman (Dept. of German, University of Wisconsin-Madison) offered each spring semester a large-enrollment, undergraduate course called “Nazi Culture,” conducted entirely in English and aimed at non German majors. The goal was to provide a perspective on how Germans experienced everyday life during the Third Reich. While the beginning lectures provided a historical and political overview, the main focus was on everyday culture (religion, education, cultural organizations) and institutional culture (including popular/”low” culture as well as high/”elite” culture). Readings and lectures changed from year to year, so this series of 18 is a snapshot of 18 lectures from spring 2010.
Jost Hermand (born 1930 in Berlin) experienced the Third Reich first hand. He was forced to join the Hitler Youth, and after the war began and Berlin became the target of Allied bombings, he was evacuated to various Hitler Youth camps in Poland. Hermand joined the UW faculty in 1958 and became a Vilas Research professor in 1967 through his retirement in 2004. Marc Silberman (born 1948 in Minneapolis) joined the UW faculty in 1988 and retired in 2016