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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different viewpoint, September 25, 2011
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This review is from: Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front (Hardcover)
I liked this book because while I have read many books and histories on World War II from the viewpoint of the US, US soldiers and American allies, I had never read one by a German soldier. So, this was interesting from that viewpoint. I knew the German retreat from Stalingrad was a rout, but I did not know that for the rest of the war the Germans largely fought a delaying action on the Eastern Front. I had heard of the German atrocities through the war, but I had not heard so graphically of the Russian atrocities committed on their own people and then the Germans, too. I also did not realize that in the last days of the war the Germans were sending soldiers for training in such places as Denmark. I thought by that time Germany was in too much of a shambles to have any organization for something like that.
Another curiosity of the book is the purpose the author gives for writing this book, which is to present a more human aspect of the German soldier than you can read anywhere else. Finally, I did look for and did not find a clear explanation of what motivate the German soldier to continue to fight against such obviously overwhelming odds. The only explanation I could find was nationalism, meaninb the call by the political leaders at the time, including Hitler, for the German soldiers wage war for the Fatherland.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 29, 2012 1:37:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 1:38:22 PM PDT
Mike P. says:
"Finally, I did look for and did not find a clear explanation of what motivate the German soldier to continue to fight against such obviously overwhelming odds. The only explanation I could find was nationalism, meaninb the call by the political leaders at the time, including Hitler, for the German soldiers wage war for the Fatherland."

The soldiers were bombarded with a constant stream of propaganda. Add to this the fact that in their youth they underwent years of state-sponsored para-military training and indoctrination via youth organizations.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 1:42:50 PM PDT
"Nationalism" may be the correct term. I truly did not get that sense entirely when reading the book. I got more of a sense of duty than anything, ie., something that had to be done. I might compare it to being called up to fight in Vietnam and not particularly liking the idea, but duty called. So, in a sense, nationalism may be correct. I don't get it as strongly, though. I think, too, when the book picks up, just before the start of the retreat from Russia, any suggestion of nationalism, the Hitler You are certainly not mentioned as I recall. Indoctrination? Maybe, but I think, again, more like duty.
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