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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 April 2008
Not to be bought if you are after details of battle as the author does not go through them in too much details, or in the amount of details some would expect. However a very interesting book for those like me who wondered how a kid ended up in teh Waffen SS, and his thoughts during the war.
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on 22 September 2016
This book was a fantastic read and gave a very interesting insight into the wartime experience and views of an SS veteran. The author was a child of the times and after having enlisted into the Waffen enthusiastically only realised how the evil the regime was he was fighting for after Germany's defeat. He tries to reconcile his early idealism, the sacrifice of his comrades and friends for a cause that was murderous and criminal for which they gave their lives in vain.

I think he gives a very honest account of his own war time experiences with a now notorious military organisation. He was an ordinary young man who was seduced by the excitement and adventure of joining an elite unit which he believed was defending Europe against the threat of Bolshevism. He does a lot of soul searching as he tries to comes to terms with the shared guilt of belonging to such a unit and how he too became a victim. Unaware of the horrific atrocities committed by soldiers wearing the same uniform as himself particularly in the concentration camps. It is a very personal account and you realise that a lot of these soldiers were just ordinary men who could have come from anywhere but because of the land and time they were born also fell victim to an evil criminal regime.
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on 1 February 2015
After reading other reviews I'm glad I went ahead and bought this book. It puts issues such as the fear the German people had of the Bolsheviks into a better perspective. These men were fighting for a cause that they believed in, and not one that is these days is commonly associated with the Waffen SS. The challenge he faced once captured by the Americans is so well written that you cannot help but feel for this proud soldier.
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Thought this would be a very interesting insight into being on the "wrong" side of a war. How could someone in the SS justify or believe in their actions?

This is a very interesting of a young volunteer who signed up to join the Waffen SS. He describes his pre-war thoughts and life, before describing the battles he took part in, interspersed with life in the PoW camp.

The book is interesting, but the best bits are all too fleeting. Seeing a Jewish prisoner about to be summarily executed, and the confused feeling of him and his comrades. Dark hints from his father about other "behind the front lines" duties that the SS were doing. It all adds to an intriguing picture of ordinary Germans who would not stand for the concentration camps going on, but almost didn't want to look hard enough to see if they were.

The book does draw you in, and is very interesting, but the interesting points never quite get covered in enough depth to make it a great book. But in summary, definitely recommended.
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on 19 November 2014
This is not a real life Sven Hassel epic.
It has the warmth and honesty of a man who although very young had a great passion but tempered this with a reasoning mind.
I found that it helped me to connect with the people and the times much better than most books on the subject that I had previously read. (He grew up under the Third Reich but coming from an educated Middle Class background still questioned everything he had been told).
It came as quite a surprise how many elements of his life were both fervently pro regime whilst other were openly anti Nazi. The author himself quotes the great struggle against Communism as his personal motivating factor.
A good book for those questioning what they themselves would have done in those circumstances.
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on 31 March 2014
A good account.
He makes an interesting point - all SS soldiers were condemned out of hand as war criminals as they were the hands-on units for the state to exterminate jews and so on.

However - the SS also fielded a number of prestigously named elite army units who fought as ordinary soldiers and did it well.

He makes a valid point when he speaks of his comrades who fought honorably for Germany who are not only not commemorated as heroes but reviled as criminals when this is not the case.
Victors justice which was hard to swallow for some, this young man went on to the US he eventually decided not to pursue the point and eventually pursued a carreer in law.
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on 28 June 2013
Have you ever wondered about how were the men who have served under the insignia of the SS corps? I did, and therefor I have decided, after couple of recommendations to purchase this book. It describes life of a pseudonym soldier of the SS corps Nord and to whoever is interested in this elite faction of the WW2 German army (although not exactly a part of the wehrmacht) should read this book. It very well shows that SS wasn't just the Totenkopf or Dirlewanger criminals, but also a few very eager, but very well trained and proper soldiers who have practically set up the basis for the modern day unit training and performing camaraderie, military pride and international military cooperation which bears certain similarities to today's military.
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on 12 September 2014
An honest and heartfelt account of an idealistic young man fighting with the Waffen SS,And who struggles to understand the ideals and rationale of the eventual victors.
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on 15 September 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed this book as it gave a personal element to the Waffen-SS. It is all to easy to blanket all SS soldiers as ruthless Nazi's, but this shows a small insight as to why this individual joined the SS - and not for the reasons most would have you believe. This does show how a young man can be influenced easily and then the life he leads from that and shows him as a soldier fighting for his country, not a merciless and mindless killer.

This gives a good "other side" portrayal and a book I highly recommend.
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on 23 January 2015
This is a very well written book. It tells the story of the authors time in the waffen ss mountain infantry and his battles in the article circle, it describes the deep loss he felt at the deaths of many of his comrades.The author puts the point across that although the ss were branded a criminal organization after the war his regiment didn't commit any war crimes and he feels it's unfair to be tarred with the same brush.This book is well worth a read for anyone interested in the second world war.
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