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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World by Tel Aviv University

1,379 ratings

About the Course

The Holocaust was an inconceivable historical event, which forever robbed Western culture of its innocence. As civilized human beings, we fail to understand how events of such horror could have taken place, and how an idea so inhumanly warped could have spread like wildfire through an entire continent, instigating the systematic annihilation of millions of Jews. This free online course was produced jointly by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. The course tracks the history of the Holocaust and has two parts. "The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World" is the first of the two courses and covers the following themes in its three weeks: Week 1: From Hatred to Core Ideology We will try to delve into Nazi ideology and the special place of Jews and Judaism in it. We will also discuss how the National Socialist Party converted the German Democracy of the Weimar Republic into a totalitarian regime within a short period of time, and its meaning for Jews and non-Jewish citizens. Week 2: The World and the Jews in World War II We will try to examine the broader contexts of the Holocaust and to place it, as part of World War 2. In this meeting we will also refer to the vital Jewish world to be found under various Nazi occupations and influences. Week 3: The Isolation Abyss - the Perspective of the Individual We will try to reveal different aspects of Jewish life in the face of the badge of shame, ghettos and segregation, as well as the formation of individual, societies’ and leader’s reactions in the face of a consistent policy of dispossession and discrimination. Once you’ve completed this course, you can continue your learning with The Holocaust - An Introduction (II): The Final Solution ( This online course is offered in an innovative, multi-level format, comprising: * Comprehensive lectures by leading researchers from Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem. * A wealth of voices and viewpoints presented by guest lecturers. * Numerous documents, photos, testimonies and works of art from the time of the Holocaust. * Novel learning experience: Crowd sourcing – involving the learners themselves in the act of collecting and shaping information, via unique, exciting online assignments. REQUIREMENTS: This course is designed for anyone with an interest in the Holocaust, including students, teachers, academics and policy-makers....

Top reviews


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The course was very informative and interesting. I am disappointed that I am now locked out of the course and cannot go back and finish reading Nazi Germany and the Jews.


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A very well organized and well conceptualised course. Readings and other study materials are great and easily accessible through this course. Applaud to all the course organizers and resource person.

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1 - 25 of 330 Reviews for The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World

By Vikas S

Jun 29, 2020

The course is an excellent introduction to the Nazi Ideology specially wrt their ideas about racial superiority and the attempt to convert traditional Anti-Antisemitism to Modern Antisemitism by giving it a racial, secular and scientific grab. Learners get exposed to a variety of historical documents many of which are otherwise not in public domain. The course is taught with great passion and you can almost feel the anguish and pain of the people who witnessed the holocaust first hand. Highly recommended for everyone so that people are sensitized not to repeat this genocide and discrimination, no matter where they live.

By Jordan F

Mar 3, 2022

As a Romani activist scholar currently working at Cornell University, I appalled that this course blatantly erases us Romani from Holocaust Studies. It is violent and racist to ignore the second category of peoples targeted under the final solution - a race who was never acknowledged, recognized, memorialized and who never received reparations. It is deeply concerning to see that these gadje Professors are teaching folks that the Holocaust was merely the murder of Jewish people. The fight that me and countless other Romani activists have to fight to merely be recognized is atrocious and it is in large part due to teachers like this. There are zero excuses for this type of violence, erasure, and racism in this field.

By Aedrian A

Jan 21, 2021

I am deeply interested in the topic because I believe that the Holocaust is humanity's lowest point (and I hope to contribute to efforts in ensuring something at least as worse as this period will never happen again). To this end, seemingly, I have watched all YouTube documentaries I can find and have read Wikipedia articles with at least remote connection to these events. However, this offering stands out for its comprehensive and academically-rigorous historical perspective on the subject - focusing on both discrete facts and underlying themes that preceded & sustained the Holocaust. I am looking forward to take Part II of this course series.

By Sylvie B

Feb 10, 2020

The interested participant should know that this is part 1 of 2, covering the years up to 1940. The main presenter is well articulated, but the delivery is too rapid, too weaving back-and-forth between years. The presentation style is so scripted that the learner does not have time to assimilate the complex subjects and new language (German) being used in visual displays. Speaking of, the displays are flashed on screen rather than being used with purpose and pointer. There is a lack of basic visuals to help understand the structure of the German government, military, and police i

By Antonia T B

May 2, 2018

An excellent course. Very hard and really heart-breaking, like everything related to the Holocaust, but crucial. I read a lot about the Holocaust and I learnt a lot of new things in this course. This course should be compulsory in High School (racism and antisemitism are rampant today). All sufferings are terrible, but never was in the History of Mankind a killing machine so well planned and so supported by the common population that brought millions of men, women, and children to die in gas chambers like in the Holocaust. The Holocaust is an event that has no precedent in History. The genocide was not carried our for reason of territory or even religion. But because of the most irrational antisemitism (that combined Christian antisemitism, racial antisemitism, "conspiracy-paranoia" antisemitism, and redemptive antisemitism). Yehuda Bauer writes: "The Holocaust … is a unique genocide, with unprecedented –and, so far, unrepeated– characteristics (…) The Holocaust has … become the symbol for genocide, racism, for hatred of foreigners, and, of course, for antisemitism”, pp. x–xi / “I think that the planned total murder of a people was an unprecedented catastrophe in human civilization. It happened because it could happen; if it could not have happened, it would not have done so. And because it happened once, it can happen again”, p. 2 (Rethinking the Holocaust). WE REMEMBER.

By Rugveda R B

May 7, 2020

My college sponsored the Coursera courses and i stumbled upon this course on the Coursera website. The topic itself greatly interested me. But as i began to learn the course, i was actually hooked to it. This course actually cleared a lot of misconceptions about Holocaust. I have noticed that a general view of Holocaust is that Jews were captured and massacred in the Ghettos and camps. But the actual various versions of the Holocaust in various European countries was an eye-opener for me. This course was very systematic and even a person who is absolutely new to be introduced to Holocaust can very well understand it.

By Ray M

Dec 6, 2016

This course, The Holocaust - An Introduction (l).... was an in depth study of the situation the Jews were facing in most of Europe after the Nazis came into power. The instructors were knowledgeable and came across as having personal feelings about the plight of the Jews during that time. I am very impressed with them and their ability to pass on the information that they did in such a way that it was very understandable while demonstrating their indepth knowledge of the material. Thank you. I come away from the course with a deeper understanding of the problems and horrible life style the Jews had to face.

By Kevin H

Oct 17, 2017

Not having studied much about the Holocaust, but knowing about it, I had questions I've wondered about. This course answers many of those questions, corrects misinformation I've heard or read over the last few decades, and then adds additional questions to my unanswered questions just in time, i.e., at the starting of "The Holocaust - An Introduction (II): The Final Solution." Certainly, after knowing many, many, people in many countries across the world have devoted their life to studying the Holocaust, no one realistically expects quality, nor a simplistic "answer" to the Holocaust in a three week course?

By Mr. S P

Oct 17, 2020

Extremely relevant course especially in the times when certain communities and people/leaders are coming with so called 'Holocaust Denial' across the globe.

Eminent scholars and Tel Aviv University made excellent efforts to design this course with pertains very sensitive subject matter.

Clear and crisp content and extremely relevant material helps a lot when it comes to understanding the Holocaust! Thank you Tel Aviv University and partners for designing such wonderful course! #NeverForget

By Ana V A

Nov 19, 2020

I really loved this course. Professor Dreifuss was excellent, her passion and knowledge of the subject was really showed in every lesson. It is a course that makes us think how indifferent we can be to the atrocities that occur in the world, even the current ones.

By yani a

Jul 22, 2019

It is an eye-opening and humbling course. I appreciate how the content was presented through an engaging narrative. It led me to think more deeply about the Holocaust and humanity, for that matter.

By Norman q

Jul 14, 2020

Soy profesor de Historia, y con este curso se amplio más mi conocimiento sobre ese gran acontecimiento que dio y sigue dando vueltas al mundo la atrocidades realizadas por los nazis.


Nov 17, 2020

If you love to learn from our history and its horrors, please, take this course. You will learn more and your mind will be much more opened. Enroll.

By Guilherme B

Feb 16, 2016

Ótimo curso introdutório!

By Akshaya S

May 7, 2018

Should have talked about how German and other European industries used forced labour for their benefit. Siemens is still involved in lawsuits about this and is on the news now.

Please also talk about IBM's involvement in helping Nazi's with punch cards to help organise the millions of jews and other races they murdered

Art theft is something thats really interesting that was not touched upon. THe german govt is now providing subsidies to art owners who wish to examine the provenance of the art they own so that it can be returned to the heirs of the rightful owners

Involvement of Swiss (while being neutral) in banking and financial support to Nazis and exploitation of Jews is something that missing here. Numbered accounts were created to help jews send their money abroad without being detected, but their heirs could never get the money back

By Indrani S

Jun 22, 2019

I have since a long time now been keen on studying about the Holocaust and the Nazi Ideology that led to it. Up until now i had been self educating myself by reading various books, publications, watching videos etc. However the system did not look very cohesively. The information i was getting was in a disorganised fashion. Then i came across this course and knew i had to take it. And for the first time since i have strived to know more about this subject was i able to get information in a well-integrated and structured format. The course starts exactly from a point and time in history which is relevant to studying the holocaust. The course was immensely eye opening and the content truly compelling. I can't wait to start the 2nd part of the course.

By Phillip H

Mar 15, 2019

This is an excellent class. Professor Dreifuss' lectures were well organized and presented. Being able to hear the lecture and then read the transcript is an excellent learning approach, especially for a poor note taker like me. The topic sequence was logical and led me from the rise of Hitler to the preparation for his final solution. I have read a small number of books on the Holocaust but I found much information that I didn't know I didn't know. I am enrolled in Part II and looking forward to the class. I must also mention the mentor Lilian Zihni. Her critiques of our writing assignments were in many cases detailed additional relevant information.

Most Sincerely, Phil Hawkes Ph.D

By Ute S

Jan 17, 2018

This course exceeded all my expectations. I was most impressed by the relevant historical analyses and contexts provided as well as the depth and breadth of sources considered. It was illuminating to learn more about how Jews in the other, Nazi-occupied countries were treated and why this differed. I have a much better understanding now, of what happened. I am very thankful for the disciplined methodology of analysis and understanding that the historians from the University of Tel Aviv demonstrated in this course. I am greatly looking forward to part 2! And now, maybe, I'll have the courage to finally visit the Holocaust Memorial Center here in Cape Town...

By Maria W

Aug 15, 2019

This was a very educational course with incredible amounts of photos and videos that truly brought the facts to life in regard to those horrible years of the Holocaust. Going into this course, one of my questions was: Why? Why did this happen? How could people sink to such a level of deprivation and evil mindset to destroy so many lives? These questions were answered very thoroughly in this course.

I would recommend this course for anyone who wants an overview of what took place around the world before and during the Holocaust. This class is a great pairing with The History of Israel.

By T.Jagalal R S

Dec 21, 2016

The course was presented without. any prejudice.

The wrong doers were not blamed but the humanity as a whole is responsible for the holocaust. The course has very sublimely indicated that the humanity must protect itself from such a holocaust n the future.. One should be cautitous that our fellow human being is not treated inhumanly. the fellowhumanbeing may be yourself!

I am very grateful to educate me to be a good human being to one and all. Dont be discriminative. Respect one's own religion, culture, language, customs and belief. T.Jagalal Ram Sait

By abbie n r

Dec 15, 2021

An excellent course, I have learned more about the history of the holocaust. It had given to me a new perception, opinion and (thought) of why as a civilization of human beens; the violence, lack of education and the ignorance are the principal problem to turn all a country on a big murderer guilty of the Six Million of murders.

People and the world where they live are in constant danger if their own forget the main reason why a society, a country or a nation, a world, can be and become a better one, (a much better one).

The Education.

By María J U

Jun 28, 2018

This is an excellent course, which provides the students with interesting and profound analysis of Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust. What I liked the most, is that each part of the course is viewed in a unique perspective, so it provides a wide range of possibilities of how to approach the different aspects of this terrible time in human history. The discussion prompts encourage the exchange of ideas and are guided by excellent mentors with deep knowledge of the Jewish life, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

By Jean-Christophe H

Dec 19, 2020

Une excellente première introduction à la Shoah. C'est une occasion de reprendre ce que l'on croyait savoir sur le sujet, connaissances souvent passablement partielles en raison de la masse de ce que l'on est supposé étudier en première/terminale. Les vidéos sont courtes, chaque sujet abordé en profondeur, des compléments sont fournis. Les mentors sont très réactifs ce qui se comprend étant donné le sujet et les individus qui pourraient profiter de failles pour se lancer dans une surenchère dans l'abject. Là, rien de tel.

By Silvia S V L

May 27, 2023

Excelente. El curso mejor planteado curricularmente que he desarrollado por varios aspectos

Staff de profesores, alto nivel profesional.

Orden y secuenciación de los temas, su rigurosidad y claridad de objetivos alcanzables.

Profundidad y extensión de los temas.

Recursos utilizados.

Presentadora clara, fluida, ágil.

Conceptos desarrollados, extensión temática.

Lenguaje aprehensible y adecuado.

Alta objetividad, dadas las circunstancias.

Agradezco tan magnifica oportunidad.

Silvia Stella Velásquez López.


By L k

Aug 16, 2022

Excellent course. Very informative and the materials provided are very relevent to the topic. Not only did I get to study the historical events and timeline but also from a diverse perspective. I would recommend this course to everyone even without any prior knowledge. As someone who has Jewish ancestry, sometimes listening to only the brutal stories does not provide the reason behind them and that is why I sought out to study further. Overall I'm satisfied and I will surely continue to the second part.