- January 2, 2010
- Posted by: Elijah Gartin
Longtime PAMLA member and former PAMLA president Gunter H. Hertling has published Hard Times: My Youth under National Socialism (and Beyond) 1935-1947. (Haag + Herchen: Frankfurt a.M., 2008; published in English).
Professor Emeritus G. H. Hertling was born in 1930 in Pasadena, California of German parents. Their last and final visit back to Germany from California proved fatal. Young American Gunter Hertling and his German mother could not return, whereas his father succeeded in repatriating to California alone. Caught in Hitler’s “Grand German Empire of a Thousand Years” initially in airraid-riddled Hamburg and later in bombed-out Munich, Gunter attended a private, then state administered high school in Bavaria. Torn between identifying with National Socialism on the one hand as a member of the Hitler Youth and yet as a German-American with liberal-democratic ideals on the other, Hertling here vividly recalls the turbulent hard times during World War II: he fully remembers, reminisces about and relates to large portions of those historical and personal events that affected his formative years psychologically and emotionally. His central narrative is enriched by two subtexts—a series of historical and personal images. While this fascinating and important memoir has a German publisher, it is written in English.