Critique Ulrich Herbert s Good Times Bad Times Essay

952 Words Feb 14th, 2015 4 Pages
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
…show more content…
99) Along with other narrators, Bromberg has “little to report about the next phase [1932 through the beginning of World War II] until they are directly affected by the war through military conscription or Allied bombing raids on their home town” (Bessel, p. 101). Herbert’s recurring theme is that “’Quiet’, ‘normal’ times, then, clearly leave behind few experiences that are imprinted on the memory and recalled in the narratives; ‘disturbed’, ‘bad’ times are filled with unique and extraordinary experiences, and come up at corresponding length in the life stories” (Bessel, p. 101).
Herbert’s argument is that the to the working German population, the war years were seen mostly as a temporary disturbance separating the stable, normal years of the 1930s and 1950s. “Although in retrospect the National Socialist State’s provision of a quiet and secure life is evaluated very positively in principle, the experiences during the war gave the lie to the pretenses of Nazism: the self-propelling dynamics of Nazi politics, which during the previous years always had been left ‘outside’, now destroyed that private domain that had only been built up. The long wartime and post-war phase is portrayed…as a time of suffering in that the ‘normality’ attained