Summer 2024 - HIST 338 OL01

World War II (4)

Class Number: 3270

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 225.



An introduction to the history of the origins and course of the second world war.


The Second World War: History, Memory and Memoir

The history and memory of the Second World War casts a long shadow over contemporary society. This global conflict was a conflagration that touched all continents, devastated entire countries and left millions dead and millions more permanently displaced. With one important exception, Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin (2012), this reading intensive course examines how the war was experienced, not by millions, but by a few surviving individuals. Over the course of the summer semester, we will read seven memoirs written by very different survivors exploring how the war changed their lives.

Online Instruction

This course will be delivered entirely asynchronously. This means there will be no in person instruction on campus. Two books must be purchased but all other texts will be made available electronically through SFU Library or will be uploaded to Canvas.


  • Two Short Written Responses (500 words each) 10%
  • Research Paper (2000 words) 40%
  • Four Tests (10 marks for the first three tests and 20 marks for the 4th test) 50%



  • Anonymous, A Woman in Berlin (Virago, Oxford, 2005) Many editions. Available electronically.
  • Marc Bloch, Strange Defeat (Oxford, 1949) Available electronically.
  • Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler (New York, 2002) Translated by Oliver Pretzel. Available electronically.
  • Richard Hillary, The Last Enemy (1942) Many editions. Available electronically.
  • Primo Levi, If This is a Man/ The Truce (Penguin Books, 1979). Many different editions. Available electronically.
  • Philippe Sands, East-West Street (London, 2016) This book must be purchased.
  • E. B. Sledge, With the Old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa (1981) Many editions. Available electronically.
  • Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2012) This book must be purchased.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.