Seduction and Terror - Hitler's Germany, Short Course | Freie Universität Berlin | Berlin, Germany
42 days
1300 EUR/full
1300 EUR/full
Tuition fee
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This Seduction and Terror - Hitler's Germany class from Freie Universität Berlin focuses on Hitler’s Germany and it begins with the 19th century background. Central to this session will be a discussion of the broad political currents, the agitators and petty demagogues who fueled the dissatisfaction and spread it widely.

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What you'll study in the Seduction and Terror - Hitler's Germany class from Freie Universität Berlin

We will also examine the popular literature that Hitler and many of his supporters read and absorbed.

The ‘Thousand Year Reich’ promised by Hitler when he became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933 lasted but 12 years. During this time, Hitler and his Nazi Party came to dominate Europe, terrorizing vast numbers of Germans, launching a devastating war, and orchestrating the murder of more than five million Jews. Despite the terror and vast destruction, Hitler and the Nazi Party gained the active support and involvement of most Germans. How was this possible? What roles did seduction and terror, consent and coercion, play?

Crucial to understanding the lure of Hitler and the Nazi Party was Germany’s experience in the First World War, a conflict that decimated a generation and destroyed Europe as it was known. It left in its wake a shattered, humiliated, and deeply torn Germany. In this climate of uncertainty and despair, Hitler and the Nazi Party grew from a small group on the fringe of radical politics in Munich into a national force. This development is of central importance to this session. Those traits of Hitler crucial to his success, particularly his charisma, will be defined and analyzed within the broader political context of Weimar political and cultural life.

In late January 1933, Hitler gained the long desired but elusive goal: he became chancellor of Germany, the leader of a coalition government. The political intrigues leading to his appointment will be discussed. Much attention will be paid in this session to how Hitler, his cabinet, and supporters were able to consolidate the control over the state and society within a matter of months. This came at the cost of political liberties, through the growing use of terror, oppression, and intimidation. Yet, Hitler gained supporters as he seemingly offered economic stability and a new unity to the German people. How did the regime solidify its control over society and over political life? Was it seduction or terror, consent or coercion?


Wheelchair-accessible housing is available upon request. Please see our website for a full description of the furnished single-occupancy studio apartment and note that the registration deadline for this housing option is one month before the regular registration deadline!

Programme Structure

Topics include:

  • World War I, Hitler, and German society, 1914-1918:  from peacetime to war to revolution to democracy, a society torn apart
  • Aftermath of war: revolution and political violence - Hitler and the emergence of the Nazi Party, 1918-1924
  • The Weimar Republic: politics, economics, culture, and social change
  • Field trip: Topography of Terror


The programme welcomes students from all disciplines who are interested in gaining an insight into the operations and dynamics of Nazi rule in Germany, its attempt to annihilate the Jews and to dominate the continent.


Instructor: Dr. Robert G. Waite

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 42 days

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Term I 2024 will run for three and a half weeks from January 3 to January 26, 2024. Registration is open until November 22, 2023. Don’t miss out: students who register by November 8 can take advantage of the early bird discount on the program fee!




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any specific GRE, GMAT or GPA grading score requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

Students should be able to speak and read English at the upper intermediate level (B2) or higher. No prior knowledge is required but the willingness to think beyond the usual framings on migration. 

Required language skills

The language of instruction is English. Language proficiency on an advanced Intermediate level (Mittelstufe II) is a prerequisite for participation. For orientation purposes, you can assess your language skills via the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Tuition Fee

To always see correct tuition fees
  • International

    1300 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1300 EUR for the full programme during 42 days.
  • EU/EEA

    1300 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1300 EUR for the full programme during 42 days.

Program fee: 300 EUR (250 EUR incl. early bird discount)

Living costs for Berlin

836 - 1340 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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