Critique Ulrich Herbert s Good Times Bad Times

Topics: Nazi Germany, World War II, Nazism Pages: 4 (945 words) Published: February 1, 2015
The following is a critique of the article “Good Times, Bad Times: Memories of The Third Reich” by Ulrich Herbert. In this critique, I will explore the themes of the article, discuss the main arguments, and address the significance of the author’s insight to the world of Nazi Germany. Ulrich Herbert’s “Good Times, Bad Times” is about the contrast between the ways typical working Germans perceived the years before and during Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, his rise to dictator, and during and after and World War II. The article cites a survey conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie (Public Opinion Institute) in 1949, as well as an oral-history project conducted at the universities of Essen and Hagen between 1930-1960. Both studies indicate that “for a large part of the population the image of National Socialism was characterized principally not by terror, mass murder and war but by reduction of unemployment, economic boom, tranquility and order.”(Bessel, p. 97). The participants in the studies view the years of the Third Reich as positive and stable, free from political upheaval and economic uncertainty. “The Guaranteed pay packet, order, KdF [Kraft durch Freude, Strength through Joy, the National Socialist leisure organization] and the smooth running of the political machinery…Thus ‘National Socialism’ makes them think merely of work, adequate nourishment, KdF and the absence of ‘disarray’ in political life”. (Bessel, p. 97) The article focuses on the detail with which many Germans were able to recall the years preceding Hitler’s reign and following World War II, contrasted with the sparse memories of the Nazi years of the 1930s. Ernst Bromberg was one of the participants in the studies done at Essen and Hagen. His memories were “in many ways typical” of those of other participants. “He still vividly recalls his work in the 1920s. He describes precisely and down to the smallest detail not only his own job but also each individual working procedure, the...
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