Thematic Analysis of "Zeitenschlag" by Becher

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This poem is Becher's view on the final hour of the Second World War. I believe it to be a type of Battle Cry that Becher is shouting at The Germans, to get them prepared for that final hour so that they would not feel so foreign, so out of place “entering a new era”. Throughout this analysis, I will try to help explain some of Becher's main points, his key themes and his use of language and poetic techniques.

The title “Zeitenschlag” can be translated as a “time impact”. Time is a central theme to this poem as Becher tries to depict to us the importance of the final hour. There are numerous examples of time references in the poem, from the repetition of “One more hour!” to “the clock strikes twelve”. Each time these lines are repeated it re-enforces the idea of how the end of the destruction and turmoil is coming to Germany. “One more hour” is all they have to wait before they can once again take control of their distorted and destroyed lives. Becher's constant reference to time instills a sense of a countdown in our minds. What comes with a countdown is the notion of finality. Becher takes advantage of this notion to heighten the suspense that surrounds the poem. The repeated time reference, leads us to believe that something is coming, something that can put “ihr Deutschen” out of their 7 year misery, something that has every possibility of it being for the better as well as the worst. Time in this poem is also a foreign object to the Germans. During the war, there was no time for any waiting. It was get up and go or either risk the chance of not surviving the night. The fact that they have to wait one more hour can also be seen as possibly inhumane as they have be waiting years for their suffering to end, however their distorted view on life describes to us that they possibly do not see themselves as humans anymore, as they have let this most barbaric and tragic event happen to their country.

Another theme to this poem is the contrast between light and...
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