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Sniper on the Eastern Front
Sniper on the Eastern Front
by Albrecht Wacker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

8 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neo-Nazi pulp fiction., 23 Sept. 2012
Hard to know where to begin...

Firstly, this is not a memoir. This book is the editor's version of events, minus the "political correctness" of "liberal authors", who apparently use biographical style to mislead audiences. Without irony, we are then informed this very book will be presented as an autobiography, followed by an argument for the righteousness of the Nazi invasion of Russia as a pre-emptive war. That the editor of the book one is about to begin reading believes that to begin a war justly extends to a justification of how that war is fought should set alarm bells ringing, even before the rant against the shortcomings of "Western historians".

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The subject of the "autobiography" is the literary equivalent to Arno Breker's Ubermensch statuary, and about as engaging, or perhaps genuinely a psychopathic killing machine. Whatever the truth, the constant eulogising of the character becomes nauseating.

As for factual content, just forget it. Russian soldiers are accused of "routine diabolical tortures of the wounded", shooting and stabbing their way through prisoners, etc. Commissars are displayed forcing their men to eat their own dead as a general rule, it's implied, just before a supportive account of the notorious Commissar Order. That this Order included Jews or simply members of the Communist party is not worth mentioning to the editor, nor are the resulting massacres. These are just a few examples of how reality is turned on its head in this book: actually German prisoners were much more likely to survive their experiences than Russians, who never simply fenced off thousands of soldiers and left them to starve to death.

It cannot be doubted that the war in the East was brutal, with atrocities on all sides. But to present events as a righteous defence of civilisation by men guilty of nothing more than defending their homeland is utterly untenable. The supreme irony of this book is that the editor, with no training in historical studies at all, is clearly incapable of recognising how much he has to learn from those "Western historians" he insults from his position of ignorance. This book is amusing as a study in revisionist folly, as a factual record it is useless, to be called a memoir is ludicrous.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2014 6:37 PM GMT

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