Schabbach is also depicted as unusually idyllic, with no shops or markets, no financial crisis, and no personal conflict during the first half of the movie. Its themes of decadent American values and Western corporate greed rising up against the innocent simplicity of the Hunsrück have been seen as "resurrecting a discourse that prevailed in the nineteenth century about the modernization of Germany's society and economy ... no compromises or delicate balances are possible".ref
<blockquote>"With this simple trick, Reitz manages to escape from the chains that have weighed down most German artistic treatments of twentieth-century German history. 'We try to avoid making judgments,' he writes. Not for him the agonizing directorial evenhandedness, the earnest formulations of guilt, responsibility, or shame. Not for him the efforts to 'come to terms with' or 'master' the past. Not 'Vergangenheitsbewaltigung.' Not Bitburg. Just [[memory work|memory]] and forgetting (Ash 1985 cited in Andresref)."ref</blockquote>
[[Barbara Gabriel]] provided a model for reading the complexities of memory and forgetting in Heimat by situating unheimlich within the , in a [[Freudian]] 'one within the other structure'.ref Gabriel argued that Reitz' television series was in response to a larger movement in Germany national memory work provoked in part by an American television series entitled [[Holocaust (TV miniseries)|]] viewed by millions. As European art in general and German art in particular resurged in the 1960s, artists like [[Günter Grass]] and Edgar Reitz captured international attention as they grappled with issues of identity in a divided, post-Holocaust Germany. Gabriel developed the concept of an impulse towards national [[memory work]] in Germany that stemmed from a haunted subject yearning for a lost, far away, nostalgic place, a utopic homeland. "How do we confront that which we have excluded in order to be, whether it is the return of the repressed or the return of the strangers?"ref In other words, that which we fear as 'other' is within ourselves through our shared humanity. Repressed memories haunt all of us.