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Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying, The Secret WWII Transcripts of German POWS Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 25, 2012
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“These extraordinary bugged conversations reveal through the eyes of German soldiers with stark clarity and candor the often brutal reality of the Second World War, providing remarkable insight into the mentality and behavior of the Wehrmacht.” —Sir Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler: A Biography
“The myth that Nazi –era German armed forces [were] not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. . . .The material [they] have uncovered in British and American archives is nothing short of sensational. . . .[Soldaten] has the potential to change our view of the war.” —Der Spiegel (Germany)
“This should be required reading for all those who believe that wars could be done cleanly.” —Martin Meier, Neues Deutschland
“A significant contribution on the mental history of the Wehrmacht . . . The authors have written an incredibly readable book.” —Die Zeit
“An equally fascinating and shocking book about the everyday madness of the Nazi war of extermination, which once again confirms Hannah Arendt’s thesis about the ‘banality of evil’ . . . A scholarly sensation.” —Goethe Institut
About the Author
SÖNKE NEITZEL is currently Chair of International History at the London School of Economics. He has previously taught modern history at the Universities of Glasgow, Saarbrücken, Bern, and Mainz.
Harald Welzer is a professor of transformation design at the University of Flensburg, teaches social psychology at the University of Sankt Gallen, and is head of the foundation Futurzwei.
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It suffers, in the translation from German and in the emphasis on social and psychological theory. But, this does not diminish one iota the horrific impact that comes from the direct dialogues recorded. This is a "first source" account of the evils perpetrated by the Nazis in the name of a "higher" German civilization and their coldly logical procedures for validating murder.
In my opinion, this account of Nazi and German involvement in the diabolical persecution of millions, should be required reading in higher institutions of learning and discussed widely in the general population as well.
I found it fascinating and the rationalizations curious and intriguing, providing unique insight into the human condition and mass psychosis of National Socialist Fascism.