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Syllabus Germany and France: From Wars to Reconciliation and Beyond. A Study Trip to Berlin and Paris - 54809

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Last update 09-02-2022
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: Cont. German Studies:politics, Soc.&Cult

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Gisela Dachs

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: 15.00-16.00 Wednesday, online or via phone by prior agreement

Teaching Staff:
Prof Gisela Dachs

Course/Module description:
Throughout their long history, the relations between French and Germans have been mostly marked by embittered wars and enmity. It was only after 1945 that a process of reconciliation started to take place. The founding fathers of this process shaped not only what would then develop into a strong alliance at the heart of Western Europe, but also the core of the future European Union. Albeit not without difficulties, the Franco-German friendship has become to symbolize a successful way to overcome history through peaceful bilateral cooperation. Such transnational interactions include a wide range of activities including state-financed youth exchanges, municipal partnerships, and a host of bi-national institutes and associations. Rather than directly affecting domestic political affairs, this kind of Europeanization connects French and Germans in various ways, transforming their partnership into the driving force of the European integration.

Course/Module aims:
The study excursion will explore the historical traces as reminders of the former enmity between France and Germany as well as current transnational practices of cooperation. It provides the participants with a wide range of encounters and experiences showing how, on the one side, collective memory as well as political, cultural and linguistic differences can be continuous challenges to the bilateral relations, but also how processes of reconciliation were able to shape a lasting alliance, on the other side.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
explore the history of Europe beginning with the reign of Charlemagne
communicate knowledge about Franco-German reconciliation processes
individually work on particular research topics and present this research to the group
discuss divergent views in France and Germany related to history, culture and politics

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Setting out in Berlin, where French Armed Forces had been stationed after the Second World War until their withdrawal in 1994, we will then travel to the area of the Rhine and the German-French border, before continuing our way via Verdun symbol of war and reconciliation - to Paris. The excursion will include encounters/discussions with experts and observers as well as visits of bilateral institutions. Student participants will be asked to prepare presentations guiding throughout the tour.

For preparation, the basic course The Media in Germany (Fall Semester) is recommended. Parallel to the study excursion students are required to attend the course The Core of Europe :History and Challenges of the Franco-German Friendship (Spring semester).

Course/Module Content:
History and diverging memories: visit of the Berlin Victory Column, the Quadriga, the French Statues of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse (Christian Emperor or founding father of Europe), the archives of the German Foreign Ministry

Geographical approaches: visit of the area of the French-German border (Alsace-Lorraine, Saarland), the Rhine, the Maginot line

Cultural approaches: following the traces of Heinrich Heine and other transnational artists.

Places of War and Reconciliation visit of the ouvrage Hackenberg (Ligne Maginot), the Cemetery and Museum in Verdun, the traces of the Nazi occupation in Paris (library of liberty), the traces of the French Allies in Berlin (from 1945-1994), the Cathedral in Reims, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the memorial of the rafle du vel d'hive. etc

Practices of cooperation visit of bilateral institutions (tbc) such as the Franco-German Brigade in Metz, the franco-german student program at the University Metz, the Franco-German Youth Office in Paris,

Present challenges: encounters with politicians, observers and pundits.

Required Reading:
The study trip is currently scheduled from 22-29 May 2022.

Additional Reading Material:
Attendance of the course "the core about Europe" is required for any participants of the study trip.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 30 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 70 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.