Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Holocaust literature
La letteratura della Shoah

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luca Renzi lunedì, martedì e mercoledì previo appuntamento / Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language German
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Foreign languages and intercultural studies (LM-37)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Through the work of Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs and Ilse Weber, it is intended to offer a cross-section that illustrates on the one hand the question of the Holocaust, on the other hand the crucial history and events of Germany in the early twentieth century and the Third Reich.


The course will initially address two key authors of German Holocaust literature such as Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs. The Czech German-speaking author Ilse Weber will also be addressed, whose lyrics were composed in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

In conjunction with the course, Rita Baldoni, editor of Ilse Weber's volume, will hold a reading. The course will also be supported by a lecturer who will carry out supplementary seminar activities for 6 hours.

To complete the ideal collocation of these works will contribute philosophical texts on Adorno, Heidegger, Benjamin and Bonhoeffer and a study on Améry and Nico Rost taken from the "Goethe-Jahrbuch".

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

- Understanding and critical skills to analyze aspects, historical and cultural events, placing them within a cultural overview of the historical development and their sociological and social repercussions.

- Skills of applying knowledge and understanding: the student will have the cultural and literary skills to the description and analysis of German culture.

- Making judgments: the student will have, through a broad spectrum of readings and references, critical skills that enable him to analyze and evaluate texts and cultural topics and matter autonomous opinions on socio-cultural issues concerning various historical periods.

- Communication skills: ability to come to understand and communicate and convey reality and different ages and use a specific language.

- The acquisition capacity of methodological tools and bibliographical and critical skills to further develop their area of knowledge for the next levels of studies.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Online notes and databases prepared by the teacher.

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Frontal and seminar lessons


There are no requirements, unless the observance of the program handbook

Course books

Primary literature:

Scelta di liriche da P. Celan

Scelta di liriche da N. Sachs

R. Baldoni (ed.), Ilse Weber, l'ultimo Lied. Lettere e poesie da Theresienstadt. Salomone Belforte, Livorno 2017

Critical literature:

M. Specchio, Paul CelanL'incantesimo dell'assurdo. Edizioni di Barbablù. Siena 1986

R. Calzoni, La letteratura tedesca del secondo dopoguerra. Carocci, Roma, 2013

Philosophical texts by and on Adorno, Heidegger, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Levinas and Bonhoeffer will also be made available on Moodle, as will a study on Améry and Nico Rost and a selection of poems by P. Celan and N. Sachs. The text by M. Specchio on Paul Celan will also be made available in extracts.


Oral examination. Term Paper

Attending students can make use of a term paper, to be carried out in groups or individually during the course or to be delivered at the end of it, according to the criteria described by the teacher. It will be evaluated by the teacher with a mark in thirties and will integrate the oral exam score at 50%. Those who declare they are attending will have to attend at least two thirds of the lessons.

Non-attending students are required to follow the exam program as foreseen by the vademecum.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Non-attending students are required to observe the program handbook and to verify the historical and cultural contexts through the network or other methods. They are also invited to visit the page on Blended Learning Uniurb for further study materials.


There are no requirements, unless the observance of the program handbook

Course books

Same of attending students


Oral examination.

Remember that a CFU approximates the measurement of the hours of commitment dedicated by the student to training activities equal to 25 hours (lessons, seminars, practice, work at home). The present course is equivalent to 8 CFU, i.e. 200 hours of total activities: if the hours of class attendance are not included within this number of hours, they should be integrated by autonomous activities of equal duration.


Part of the course will be taught in German. The students can request to sit the final exam in German with an alternative bibliography

Teil des Kurses wird auf Deutsch gehalten werden. Die StudentInnen können auf Nachfrage die Prüfung in deutscher Sprache mit einer Alternativbibliografie halten

With a reasonable number of participants, an excursion / study trip to Berlin will be organized during the week 11-16.11.2019 for the visit to the German Parliament ('Bundestag') of the Holocaust memorial and of the Jewish Museum in Berlin; participation will be on a voluntary basis, with autonomous flight and transfer to and from the airport. The teacher will take charge, once the course initiated, of the organization and to finding accommodation in Berlin.

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