Twentieth Century Berlin: People, Places, Words

Twentieth Century Berlin: People, Places, Words

Course dates:
20 July, 2024 to 17 August, 2024
Multidisciplinary, Social Sciences
Application deadline:
Saturday, 22 June, 2024
Freie Universität Berlin International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS)
Berlin, Germany

General information

This course is about Berlin, the city that was at the epicenter of the defining catastrophes of the twentieth century, including the First World War, the horror of the Nazi era that resulted in the Second World War and the Holocaust, and the long grubby Cold War that saw the city physically divided between capitalism and communism in an embodiment of the conflict between the American and Soviet worlds.

Yet amidst these horrors (and arguably because of them), Berlin was also a place where some of the most boundary breaking avant-garde art, progressive politics and anarchic subcultures of the twentieth century bloomed and died in the furnace of its constantly changing social, political and economic turmoil.

The livid imprint of this tormented history marks Berlin up until today, and demands to be known, studied and understood,

Structured largely chronologically, the course will work with films and novels whilst building on a clear historiographical base provided in class seminars. The teaching will be augmented by physical excursions into Berlin to trace the stories we encounter and class discussions will form the basis for a seminar paper that students will be required to submit at the end of the course. This history course approaches the story of Berlin through the reflections and refractions of individual humans’ lives who struggled upon the immense stage of a city at the very symbolic and literal heart of the catastrophes of the twentieth century.


For more details on the different accommodation options, please click here.


The easiest way to register for FUBiS is by using the online registration form. You can find detailed information on how to register here.

A comprehensive overview on fees and registration can be found here.

ECTS accreditation


Contact information


Phone: +49 30 838 73 472

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