< HIST210 : Partisans and Collaborators: World War II in Occupied Europe

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HIST210 : Partisans and Collaborators: World War II in Occupied Europe

Level:Part II (any yr)
Learning Hours:150
Credit Points:15
Course Convenor:Professor MM Camino Maroto

Syllabus Rules

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The student must take the following modules:

Assessment Rules

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  • 100% Coursework

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

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This module will explore the development of social and political movements in Europe during World War II, and the rise of partisan and resistance movements in occupied countries. It departs from setting the different contexts from the USSR-German alliance of 1939 and the declaration of war on side of the Allies by the USSR and the USA in 1941. The first segment of the module will concentrate mostly on countries that were first occupied, including Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. It will then trace in some detail the complex parameters of the changing borders between ‘Free’ and ‘Occupied’ France, and the situation created by the partition of Italy following the ‘liberation’ of the South. This second segment of the module will look at the developments in Eastern European countries which would eventually become part of the USSR sphere of influence, including Poland and Belarus. The last segment to be studied will be those countries in which resistance became widespread and effective, namely Yugoslavia and Greece, and the way their struggle was integrated (or otherwise) into the regimes that followed the war. The module concludes with an outline of the memorialisation of the resistance, and the political uses to which that memory has been put.

 Topics studied will typically include:

Political (mis)alliances at the onset of WWII

Resistance, Collaboration and Civil (dis)Obedience: National, ethnic and political

Netherlands and Belgium



Poland and the ‘Eastern Block’

Belarus, Russia and Baltic Republics

Grecia, Yugoslavia and the Balkans

Memorialisation of the Resistance


Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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This module aims to:

  • introduce the different layers of opposition to fascism as it developed in the years prior to and during WWII
  • introduce the most important groups in the European left and their development throughout World War II
  • familiarise students with events underlying the development of World War II in occupied countries
  • scrutinise attitudes of individuals and groups when subject to a military occupation and living in a climate of civil war and internal strife
  • understand developments and contradictory forces pulling peoples’ alliances in different directions throughout World War II     
  • acquaint students with the use of memoirs, testimonies, court cases, films or photography as historical sources
  • explore how historians use primary sources, and the relationship between primary and secondary sources
  • introduce the nature and practice of comparative history

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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This module aims to:

  • experience a wide variety of primary and secondary sources
  • develop research skills
  • develop analytical skills of evaluating evidence
  • explore clear, precise and comprehensive presentation of evidence and argument
  • understand the processes and techniques of research
  • analyse and prioritise research materials
  • use the resources, of the university library, its print holdings, cataloguing systems, electronic and digital searches and resource-holdings

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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On successful completion of this module students will be able to...

  • demonstrate an understanding of events underlying the development of World War II in both the Western and Eastern fronts
  • deploy interdisciplinary material, including memoirs, testimonies, court cases, films and photography, as primary historical sources
  • explore how historians can use primary sources, and the relationship between primary and secondary sources
  • express, in the form of an examination a broad knowledge of themes and events in Europe during the 1940s
  • express in the form of an essay, a detailed knowledge of the ways in which Europeans articulated their resistance to oppression during the 1940s

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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On successful completion of this module students will be able to...

  • demonstrate competence in both written and oral analysis and interpretation;
  • think critically, in the above settings, about the use of evidence and the problems of historical interpretation posed by difference types of evidence;
  • understand the layers underpinning victims and perpetrators in war situations, highlighting the role of bystanders, collaborators and civil resistance

  • think critically about political ideas, economic and social  forces, as well as international relations


Assessment: Details of Assessment

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SPF: Students are asked to read in advance to lead the discussion of particular topics during the seminars. Students can work individually but the same topic will be done by more than one student, so that there is groupwork in the planning and organisation of the seminar (10%)

Projetc: Students will be asked to develop a plan for a comparative study that includes at least two different countries, assessing the similarties and differences in the historical developments both during and at the end of WWII (by week 9 of term: 10%)

One essay (3000) due at the end of the module (60% of total grade)

One Gobbet (600-700 words) assessing a Primary Source (20%) to be submitted by week 8.

Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

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Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by History: History; History and Philosophy; History and Religious Studies; Social History.

Single Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by others: French Studies and History; German Studies and History; English Literature and History; History and International Relations; History and Politics; History and Music; History, Philosophy and Politics; Italian Studies and History; Spanish Studies and History.

Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201