Good Times, Bad Times

'Politics didn't matter': the ordinary Germany often insulated himself from the tensions of the Third Reich by concentrating on its work and leisure benefits.

As late as 1951 almost half of those citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany questioned in a public opinion survey described the period between 1933 and 1939 as the one in which things had gone best for Germany.

All 'politics' aside, for a large part of the population the image of National Socialism was characterised principally not by terror, mass murder and war but by reduction of unemployment, economic boom, tranquillity and order. In 1949 the Institut für Demaskopie (Public Opinion Institute) summarised the result of its survey of the 'Consequences of National Socialism'. There was 'no more talk of German rebirth or of racial awakening' among the population; 'these bits of Third Reich decor are antiquated, worn out, finished'. On the other hand, memories of the 'positive' aspects of National Socialism were still as fresh as ever:

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