UC Santa Cruz launches new legacy course on the Holocaust with Coursera

Murray Baumgarten
Murray Baumgarten
Peter Kenez
Peter Kenez
UC Santa Cruz has launched a new version of its free online course, The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry, through the Coursera platform.

The course was developed and is taught by professors Murray Baumgarten and Peter Kenez, based on their acclaimed UC Santa Cruz class that they taught in-person on campus for over three decades. It is preserved as a UCSC legacy course in an online, on-demand format, free and open to the public.

Kenez is a native of Hungary and a Holocaust survivor. A professor emeritus in the History Department at UC Santa Cruz, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has been teaching Russian and modern European history at UCSC since 1966.

Kenez is the author of eight books, including the autobiographical Varieties of Fear: Growing Up Jewish Under Nazism and Communism and his most recent work, From Antisemitism to Genocide; the Origins of the Holocaust.

Baumgarten (B.A. Columbia, Ph.D. Berkeley) is a distinguished professor of English & contemporary literature and a founding director of The Dickens Project at UC Santa Cruz.

Baumgarten is the recipient of a campus award for excellence in teaching, and his recent work has focused on the Jews of Venice and the afterlife of the Ghetto.

The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry traces the destruction of the Jews and Jewish life in Europe by Nazi Germany, drawing on major works of history, literature, and film. It explores not only the destruction of European Jewry, but also the shifting historical conditions from which the Holocaust emerged.

Students taking the eight-week class will study memoirs, historical documents, poetry, documentary footage, films, novels, and other media that help to illustrate the variety of human experience during this important historical episode.

The course is designed to provide participants with an expanded knowledge and understanding of Eastern and Western Jewish communities, the origins and development of anti-Semitism, the formation and operation of concentration camps, resistance movements, and the Holocaust as a problem for world history.

For more information or to sign up for the UC Santa Cruz course, visit the Coursera web site.