Requiem for a German Past: a Boyhood Among the Nazis
- List Price: $34.95
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
- Publish date: 09/01/1999
- ISBN: 9780299164102
- ISBN10: 0299164101
Herbst was a middle-class boy in a Lutheran family that saw value in Prussian military ideals and a mythic German past. His is a compelling tale of moral awakening. He recalls his confusion as some of his classmates are no longer welcome at his school, and his consternation as he tries co reconcile what he learned from his favorite teachers and what was subsequently taught by their party replacements. His description of walking to school the morning after Kristallnacht is clear and chilling.
A Hitler youth in the making, he joined the Jungvolk and slowly became aware of the real nature of the National Socialist regime. The story of that evolution -- a unique, insider's view of the Nazi youth movement -- is inspired by young Jurgen's deep friendships with his fellow students and their dedication to a military code of personal honor and loyalty. His devotion to those young men allowed him to endure scorn and deprivation and to risk personal well-being, even life, in the face of a brutal evil that demanded unquestioning allegiance.