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The Final Solution to the Jewish Question

Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center via Coursera


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The "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" was the official code name used by Nazi German authorities for the planned annihilation of Jews during World War II. This course focuses on the origins, evolution, and implementation of this deadly operation which led to the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. The course is composed of video lectures by world-leading researchers who will share their perspectives on this complex topic. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the distinct nature of the “Final Solution” and its gradual development, from the rise to power of the Nazi Party in Germany in 1933 until the end of the war in Europe in 1945.


  • Nazi Germany and the Jews
    • In this week, we will learn about the rise of the Nazi regime to power, about its policies and ideological visions. We will discuss steps taken against the Jews in Nazi Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. We will also learn about the ghettoization.
  • The Development of the "Final Solution"
    • In this week, we will learn about how Nazi Germany began to implement the mass murder of Jews in the summer and autumn of 1941 and about the establishment of the first extermination camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. In this week, five renowned historians will present their view on how the “Final Solution” came about.
  • The Mechanism of Murder
    • In this week, we will analyze different Nazi state agencies and mechanisms engaged in the “Final Solution”. We will also deal with some fundamental topics, such as the role of Adolf Hitler in the "Final Solution", the Nazi power apparatus, and the German railway system.
  • The "Final Solution" in Local Context
    • In this week, we will discuss the implementation of the “Final Solution” in different regions of Europe and in different occupation and Nazi-allied zones, examining how different historical contexts influenced the stages of the murder of the Jews.
  • The "Final Solution" - Chosen Topics
    • In this week, we will analyze some additional topics, such as the image of the perpetrators, the place of forced labor and the nature of Jewish resistance to Nazi oppression. We will also ask the question of what the world, the Germans, and the Jews themselves knew about the Nazi plan for their extermination.

Taught by

Dr. Yossi Kugler and Dr. Olga Ungar


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