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dissertation topic - nazi germany... help!

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    Hey guys,

    Basically I have 7 months till my dissertation is due in and my supervisor is being SO unhelpful. I just recently changed my topic to 'women in nazi germany' but I need to cover a more specific aspect than this. I've been telling her my ideas so she can give me her opinion but all she says is that I need to choose soon.

    My ideas are:

    A comparison of the resistance of the older generation and the younger generation of German women to National Socialism.

    A comparison of how women were treated in 2 or 3 of the extermination camps in Poland (one of course being Auschwitz)


    Does anyone have any opinions on those topics? Or know of any other ideas?

    xx
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    They seem like interesting topics.

    If I was giving any advice about writing a dissertation or picking a dissertation topic though it would be to make absolutely sure that you have access to a pretty large quantity of primary sources, whether they are quantitative or qualitative, and preferably sources that have been overlooked in the past.

    If you choose what looks like a really good topic and find out you can't access primary source material you're screwed really. So make it as easy on yourself as you possibly can!
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    The above poster has it pretty much spot on. Whatever you do, make sure it has a lot of source material and just general information. Look into it.


    My idea would probably be something along the lines of a 'a comparison between the role of women in family life in Nazi Germany and prior to Nazi Germany' (Maybe this is too easy/or too vague though).
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    Thanks guys.

    My supervisor keeps telling me to write about something really specific and I don't understand how you're meant to find lots of primary sources if your subject is REALLY specific :/ ha im so demotivated write now.
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    You don't have to base a dissertation on primary sources. I wrote about collaborationism in German occupied Ukraine during the Second World War and because most primary sources were in Ukrainian, which I can only read bits of, I had to base the majority of my dissertation on secondary sources. But when you do that, you have to be extremely critical of the sources you're using. Don't just take what one says as fact unless you have the interpretations of other works to corroborate it. Say when one source contradicts another or when one elaborates on a point made by somebody else etc etc.
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    (Original post by oldham_fran)
    You don't have to base a dissertation on primary sources. I wrote about collaborationism in German occupied Ukraine during the Second World War and because most primary sources were in Ukrainian, which I can only read bits of, I had to base the majority of my dissertation on secondary sources. But when you do that, you have to be extremely critical of the sources you're using. Don't just take what one says as fact unless you have the interpretations of other works to corroborate it. Say when one source contradicts another or when one elaborates on a point made by somebody else etc etc.
    Primary sources need to be treated with extreme caution; the benefit of hindsight is a double edged sword. Many wartime myths that were popular during and many years after the war were treated as fact until proven to be incorrect.

    For example, according to W. Allied soldiers:

    Every German tank was a Tiger (90% of the time it was actually a Panzer IV Ausf H).

    Every German AT/artillery gun is an 88mm (could be anything from a 75mm to a 100mm to a 105mm to a 150mm).

    The vast majority of German tanks were destroyed by rocket firing tactical fighter bombers (about 5% of all German armor was destroyed from the air).

    The M4 Sherman was a PoS that caught on fire easily (The Sherman's tendency to go up in flames was quickly fixed by changing the ammo storage, and while inferior at the tactical level the Sherman was superb at the operational and strategic level. The Sherman was in fact perfectly suited to Allied doctrine and did a good enough job).

    Those are just a few of the popular myths that have been disproved with further study. So primary sources must not be used out of context and without second sources to corroborate what conclusions can be made from them. Personally I wouldn't waste my time looking for them unless asked to do so by your teacher. If the book I'm reading has them great, then I know they're probably credible, if not, oh well.
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    (Original post by Destroyer25)
    Primary sources need to be treated with extreme caution; the benefit of hindsight is a double edged sword. Many wartime myths that were popular during and many years after the war were treated as fact until proven to be incorrect.

    For example, according to W. Allied soldiers:

    Every German tank was a Tiger (90% of the time it was actually a Panzer IV Ausf H).
    Actually most of the time they were STUGIII or STUG IV. They were the most succesful tank in Axis side.

    Every German AT/artillery gun is an 88mm (could be anything from a 75mm to a 100mm to a 105mm to a 150mm).



    The vast majority of German tanks were destroyed by rocket firing tactical fighter bombers (about 5% of all German armor was destroyed from the air).

    The M4 Sherman was a PoS that caught on fire easily (The Sherman's tendency to go up in flames was quickly fixed by changing the ammo storage, and while inferior at the tactical level the Sherman was superb at the operational and strategic level. The Sherman was in fact perfectly suited to Allied doctrine and did a good enough job).


    Those are just a few of the popular myths that have been disproved with further study. So primary sources must not be used out of context and without second sources to corroborate what conclusions can be made from them. Personally I wouldn't waste my time looking for them unless asked to do so by your teacher. If the book I'm reading has them great, then I know they're probably credible, if not, oh well.
    Actually it was not just ammo compartment,they fuel tank and fuel lines were located in retreated places and the fact that they used flammable in some cases very high octane petrol engines, they caught fire easily. The radial powered shermans were especially disasters. Sherman was probably one of the only tanks that saved its crew from having such pathetic armor, one incident where round penetrated side and came out of the other side completly clean without causing any internal damage... Sherman was good enough in the western front where axis armour was not as big deal of a threat as on the east. All the best units of the whermacht and the vast majority of its military bulk was located in the eastern front most of the time. Only when they ran out of fuel and trained crews the western allies stopped running away (slightly exaggerated i know, but sort of true). *


    Another myth is the superman German tankers who had 10:1 kill ratios etc. Sure it can be true in some cases and germany did have one of the best Tank crews in WW2, but most of the time they fought defensive battle after Stalingrad where they pulled back. German tactics relied on concealment and fighting from long range whilst being hidden. BAck in WW2, no tanks had proper gun stabilisation, so stationary tank can churn lots of kills on advancing tanks which cannot fire back accuratly while on move. They banned firing on the move in the German army then as well. When you defend, attacking side always have more losses most of the time. Thats why Germans had such large kill ratios.
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    (Original post by beb4)
    Hey guys,

    Basically I have 7 months till my dissertation is due in and my supervisor is being SO unhelpful. I just recently changed my topic to 'women in nazi germany' but I need to cover a more specific aspect than this. I've been telling her my ideas so she can give me her opinion but all she says is that I need to choose soon.

    My ideas are:

    A comparison of the resistance of the older generation and the younger generation of German women to National Socialism.

    A comparison of how women were treated in 2 or 3 of the extermination camps in Poland (one of course being Auschwitz)


    Does anyone have any opinions on those topics? Or know of any other ideas?

    xx
    How long does your dissertation have to be? x

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