Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany
Developing the courage to do what is right and maintaining the strength to resist evil in the face of personal persecution are fundamental human dilemmas. Many who lived in Nazi Germany had neither the courage, the intellectual and/or spiritual means, nor the strength to speak or act against the evil with which they were confronted. But some did possess courage and strength, and they serve as touchstones for understanding the best of the human spirit during the worst of times. This course focuses on documents generated by nonmilitary resistance groups during the period of National Socialism. Letters, essays, diaries, and statements on ethics from the Bonhoeffer and Scholl families form the core of the readings. The resistance novel, Every Man Dies Alone, by Hans Fallada, is also included. Texts will be read as historical documents, reflections of German thought, statements of conscience, attempts to maintain normal relationships with others in the face of great risk, as poetic works, and as guides for the development of an ethical life.