“Doubted Nothing, Learned Nothing”: Ulrich Herbert, BEST: Biografische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft, 1903-1989
In writing about Werner Best, Ulrich Herbert set out to produce not a biography, but rather an analysis of a representative of a certain extremely nationalist intellectual and social group that made up the upper echelon of the executors of Nazi policy. At the same time, the book sketches a profile of Best’s exceptional personality. Especially interesting is Best’s agility in extricating himself from most of his entanglements and to return to an influential status from which he could continue to operate based on his worldview, which did not change even after the downfall of the regime. Despite all his contradictions and half-truths, Best always “doubted nothing and learned nothing.” Herbert’s portrait of Best can also serve as a warning against the potential threat of extreme nationalism.