History and Memory in the New Germany - Summer 2015

Location: Germany: Berlin and Munich


Department: Foreign Languages; History

Leaders: Christiane Eydt-Beebe (ckeydt@eiu.edu) and Sace Elder (seelder@eiu.edu)

: Foreign Languages; History

  Terms/Timeframe: 5/14/15 to 6/5/15

Language: English

  Credits: 6

Budget:Summer 2015


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing

  Application Deadlines:
January 30, 2015
  Application Materials:

EIU Program Application (Faculty-led Programs)

Course Selection Form

Academic Program

Spend three weeks in Germany and fall under the spell of two German cities—Berlin and Munich. Like no other place in Germany, Berlin and Munich visibly represent the ghosts of German history and the dynamic spirit of the New Germany. 

Through our reading and extensive travels through these cities and their surroundings, we will set out to answer the intriguing question:  How did Germany transform itself within half a century from a racial, genocidal state under Nazism into the largest liberal democratic state in Europe? We will examine Germans' struggle to build a civil society by "coming to terms" with their Nazi past.

The program is based in Munich and Berlin, capitals of the Nazi movement and the Nazi regime.  We spend 11 days in Berlin and 10 days in Munich. Much more than just “city-hopping,” this program will give you a unique chance to experience life in what are now Germany’s most populous, pulsing, and culturally vibrant cities.  Time to find your favorite hip district, beer garden, market, or nightspot.

The program leaders, Dr. Sace Elder (Dept. of History) and Dr. Christiane Eydt-Beebe (Dept. of Foreign Languages) are both specialists in German studies, speak the language, and have lived in Germany. No German skills are required. English will be the language of instruction, though students receiving German language credits must also speak and write in German.

The Brandenburg Gate Through the Ages …


Activities / Itinerary

We will explore Germany’s landscape of collective memory in and around Berlin, Munich, Dresden, and Nuremberg. We will examine the conflicts and controversies over what sites would be preserved, over how the Nazi past would be represented in museums and school books, over who would be remembered as victims and who would be remembered as perpetrators of the regime.  We will also explore how memory of war, genocide, and fascism figured into the reunification of the “Berlin Republic” after fifty years of Cold War division.  When we arrive in Germany, the program will begin in Berlin, where we will begin investigating what was remembered after the war and, just as importantly, what was forgotten.

In this 3-week program, we will:

  • Fly from Chicago to Berlin where we will spend 11 days
  • Visit sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag (Bundestag parliament), Alexanderplatz with the world clock, and more
  • Visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Topography of Terror at the Gestapoheadquarters, and the Jewish Museum of Berlin
  • Take a tour of Sachsenhausen concentration camp
  • Take a day trip to Dresden (120 miles west of Berlin), the “Florence on the Elbe River,” destroyed by Allied firebombs in 1945 and reconstructed under the Socialist GDR and the Federal Republic
  • Optional (weekend visit): Visit Sanssouci Palace, Frederick the Great’s 18th century  summer residence in Potsdam (15 miles southwest of Berlin), still standing in all its splendor
  • Spend evenings discovering your own favorite spots in this city of contrasts
  • Travel by train (6 hours in the high-speed ICE) to Munich, where we spend ten days examining the sites in and around that city          
  • Visit the Marienplatz Square with its Glockenspiel, and Frauenkirche Cathedral; spend an evening strolling or biking through the English Garden (one of the largest urban parks in the world)
  • Tour the Hofbräuhaus (and have a meal there)
  • Visit Dachau concentration camp
  • Take a day trip to Nuremberg, site of the Nazi Party Rallies. Tour the Documentation Center and the grounds.
  • Take a day trip to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (the Kehlsteinhaus) in Berchtesgaden (2 hours south of Munich),  perched on a 6000-foot high mountain in the Alps
  • Take a day trip to Neuschwanstein, “Mad King Ludwig’s” fairytale castle (a nineteenth-century monarch’s representation of German medieval history) while taking in the breathtaking landscape of the Allgäu

  • Find out why Munich is called the “world village”
  • Fly from Munich back to Chicago


This 3-week program offers 6 credits.
Students are able to choose from: HIS 3450; HIS 4400; HIS 4775; HIS 5997; FLG 3200; FLG 4400; FLG 4405; EIU 4114G;

Another option to earn senior seminar credit: After your program, take STA4000G at EIU to fulfill your senior-seminar requirement!


We will stay in triple rooms in 2-star hotels, Jugendhotels (“youth hotels”) that are for budget-minded travelers of all ages. All hotels will have wifi.  They offer a simple but tasty German breakfast that will be included in the price for accommodations.



We will hold 4 pre-departure meetings (tentatively scheduled for April 3, April 10, April 17, and May 1, 2015.  These pre-departure meetings are required. We will prepare our tasks, view films, and discuss preliminary readings. In one of our meetings, your faculty leaders will cover information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies), as well as planning logistics.

In another meeting, the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will hold their orientation. They will cover general information about traveling abroad to different areas of the world and facilitate a panel discussion composed of students who have already participated in faculty-led study abroad programs.

Necessary Documents

To enter a foreign country, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.

You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet on your host countries. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

Students do not require a visa for short-term stay.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **