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SS Panzergrenadier: A True Story Of World War II [Hardcover]

by Hans Schmidt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 31, 2001 0966904745 978-0966904741 1st
4090. This is the autobiographical true story and personal narrative of the German side of WWII. The author recounts the reasons that led him to decide to join the Waffen-SS in 1943 at the age of 16. He details his service in the German Labor Service (RAD) prior to induction into and training with the W-SS in 1944. The author recounts his extensive schooling prior to posting with the Leibstandarte SS Panzer Div., and his personal experiences in combat with the unit in the Ardennes and the final battles on the Eastern Front in Hungary, ending with American captivity. HB, 20 previously unpublished photos from author's collection, over 400 pages.

Editorial Reviews


"...tells it as it was for the German soldiers in the last two years of the war..." -- Dr. H.G. Migeod, South Africa

"..deserves widespread distribution in the United States. I hope that this...will be mandatory reading at all American military academies." -- John Schmitz, Colonel, USMC, and former Congressman (January 10, 2001)

"Hans provides a view of 'the other side' that cannot be found in any other book I can think of." -- Elmer Libby, WWII veteran and ex-POW

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Hans Schmidt Pub; 1st edition (December 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966904745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966904741
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,677,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Controversial! Do you have an open mind to read it? July 13, 2004
I believe this book needs to be read with an open mind, and an awareness that is increasingly lacking in the freeworld - of our own insidious propoganda. In my opinion, only that knowledge of self, will help to understand others better. As a patriotic Englishman who lost relatives in the war, having read the book, I have mixed feelings about the author and the book's content. Much he wrote (and I have checked out) surprisingly dispelled many of the negative myths that are common about the SS, and Schmidt exposes much allied hypocrisy and double standards about the war that are as valid today as they were then. Many of his comments really strike home, and provide valuable insights that the Victor's population rarely of ever get's to hear of: such as the lack of allied deaths in German POW camps, the SS relief of the wounded at the Bridge to Far that saved the lives of 2000 allied troops, and other rather good examples that illustrate the honour code that most, of the most disciplned army of the war, abided by. He also makes very good arguments for the lack of knowledge of the Holocaust by the great mass of the German people, such as; if it were such common knowledge, why wasn't it written about or known in the freeworld, or used in the Allied radio propoganda broadcasts, until they were actually found - never mind in a dictatorship with absolute media control. The same principle works the other way around, even in todays ideal western "democracies" with a free press, satelite communications and the Internet. A good and current example being, the "truth" about Saddam's WMD, which took several countries to war! Read more ›
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating view into the mind of an unrepentant Nazi January 30, 2005
In a world where the SS, including the Waffen-SS, is portrayed as nothing but bloodthirsty murderers, most of the uninitiated jump on the bandwagon of the media and join them in their claim that the aforementioned statement is true. Hans Schmidt, Panzergrenadier of the 1. SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, is not one of them.

As a member of the Waffen-SS, he would know far more about how these soldiers really behaved in battle and in peace. Not only does he describe this in his memoirs, but he also relates (rather chillingly) some of the socio-economic and social conditions that abounded in the Third Reich to some that are occuring in America today. He provides the (true) story of the so-called "Malmedy Massacre", backed up by comments by GI's who were there, and exposes the injustices of the Nuremberg Trials. As it was written very recently, he provides his comments on such things as September 11, the Mazar-i-Sharif prison riot in Afghanistan, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, current American politics, and other current matters. It begs the question that perhaps we really aren't that different after all... He also goes to great lengths to expose ALLIED war crimes and how Americans were not the best soldiers the world has ever seen, something that few have the courage to do.

The one flaw in this book is the lack of actual combat (not his fault, as he spent a lot of time in the rear as a messenger) and the fact that he says that the Holocaust never happened.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For a more complete picture of WWII March 18, 2003
This is a very readable book. It is not a dry historical narrative nor an endless recounting of bloody combat experiences. Rather, it is a very personal account of one individual's story that fits into a larger history. Sitting next to a pretty girl on a troop train, taunts from a soon-to-be freed Russian POW, walking through a recently bombed German village are all relayed with remarkable candor.
The book is definitely written from a German perspective and contains some revisionist elements that made me somewhat uncomfortable. Although, some of these issues, like Eisenhower's horrendous treatment of German POW's and intentional Allied air attacks against civilians, have become pretty widely accepted during the past decade.
I was surprised that there was so little anti-semitism in the SS training experience although I was not particularly surprised at the emphasis on the German way of life and German Military History---in that way it had some parallels with my USMC training experience. There are a few grammatical errors but he writes better than most of the people I was with in graduate school. Further, I assume that English was not his first language. It was entertaining, informative and gave me a very different perspective on an otherwise familiar topic (WWII). I recommend it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Point of View June 3, 2006
I have read many books concernig WWII and this was one the toughest books to write a review for. This book is many things and it represents many other things to those who read it. So it is up to you, the reader to classify how this book has affected you and how much of it do you wish to relate to and how much do you really think is plain rubbish. As some other previous reviewers have written about this book.

I don't think its rubbish, I think it's a very well written book about Herr Schmidt's experiences in WWII but most importantly it is what happened afterward that this book shines more than others. The book in its essense does not have too many facts about the authors' experiences during the war he clearly states that he doesn't remember all of the facts and all of his experiances. Where this book comes into its own is when the author explains his training before joining the Waffen SS, his feelings, the country's mood and his personal thoughts about the current situation. That is the best thing this book does. If you are looking for a war memorial this is not it. Thia book are about the views of the author, some of which are un-popular and some of which are far fetched to say the least. But they are his clear and frontal views and for writing them he should be at least heard. He shows a lot of Geman pride.

One of the main topics in the book is what happened to the German soldiers who surrendered to the Allies. Since it is well known that all German POW's the Russians had were put to work rebuilding Mother Russia, where most died it is a good question to simply ask what of the POW's in the Allies hands? Herr Schimdit tells it all here and writes it in a simple manner and explains to us what the German people and soldiers had to endure after the war had ended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Icky Revisionism
Hans Schmidt was a Holocaust denier and founder of the "German-American National Political Action Committee (GAN-PAC). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rob Fitzgibbon
5.0 out of 5 stars History lives on
Far too many people fail to review a book and instead debate it or they criticize the seller.

I really enjoyed the book because it told the experiences of a man who was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steven E. Medved
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story by a true hero.
This book is a great truth toiled by some one who was there, some who walked the walk and not some wanna be. Read more
Published 5 months ago by lostkiwi99
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Comes Out!
Great book! It was so nice to finally read something like this from the German side, that I was unable to put the book down. Thank you very much for writing this book, Mr. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JJB
5.0 out of 5 stars ~Exercising our usConstutional Right to Free-speech..?!!
Most Insightful, --for fervent anti-communist Waffen-SS patriot author- 'Hans Schmidt' entitled: " SS PanzerGrenadier ... Read more
Published 22 months ago by RobairVictor
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I have read this book 3 times so far an I cannot get bored of it. I have been a keen historian for 28 years now and I am always looking for a new memoir on the Waffen SS. Read more
Published on July 8, 2010 by V. Zacherl
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Mr Schidt,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Having just finished this book,I can honestly say i couldnt put it down.Mr Schmidt Has written one of the finest books on the subject of ww2 from the german view. Read more
Published on March 29, 2010 by Stephen Lovelock
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating View Into the Mind of a Good Soldier
Others have described what this book is about, so I will offer my impressions, which are based on personal experience, by the way, such as seeing Eisenhower's open-air post-war POW... Read more
Published on December 26, 2008 by interestedinhistory
5.0 out of 5 stars God Forbid Someone Who Was There Should Offer An Alternative Viewpoint
I have to applaud Mr. Schmidt's courage in taking a different position in writing about his experiences and observations. Read more
Published on July 16, 2008 by Landser
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter war memoir
This is a frank, no-holds-barred account of serving in the Waffen-SS in WW2. The author was greatly affected by his experiences in Russia and the Western Front and has some... Read more
Published on October 31, 2007 by skavoovied
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