PSYC 3225/HRTS 3600: Holocaust

The Holocaust remains an unparalleled instance in human history of industrialized, systematic genocide. As such, the Holocaust has been examined extensively from a historical and political perspective. However, much less has been done to examine the Holocaust from a psychological or sociological perspective. While there are questions related to the Holocaust that psychology/sociology can never answer, it is important to seek understanding through these questions.

This course examines from a psychological/sociological perspective the groups of individuals associated with the Holocaust (perpetrators, victims, bystanders, resistance fighters) noting that these groups are not always mutually exclusive. Issues explored include: the question of what enables individuals collectively and individually to perpetrate evil/genocide, the nature of extreme prejudice, the psychology of propaganda, the impact of extreme victimization on the victim (during the Holocaust, upon liberation, and in later years), the impact on children (child victims, children of Holocaust survivors, and children of Nazis), and the question of what enabled some individuals/groups/countries to actively become involved in resistance while others remained passive bystanders and others sympathizers/collaborators. The roles that psychology, psychologists, and psychiatrists played during the Holocaust are also examined.

Professor: Linda M. Woolf, Ph.D.

Click here for the Fall 2018 Syllabus

Click here for Study Guide Exam I

Click here for Study Guide Exam II

Click here for Study Guide Exam III

As these study guides are provided at the beginning of the semester, they are subject to change based on course needs and changes that occur during the semester.

Links related to the Holocaust

Recommended Books Related to the Holocaust


Camps & Ghettos



Historical Overviews:


Holocaust Denial:


Philosophical & theological perspectives:

Psychology and Medicine:

Resistance and Rescue

Survivor Testimony:

Survivor Testimony & Histories- Anthologies:

To Holocaust & Genocide Studies Page

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