Firstly let me say this. I feel we should be grateful to any Waffen-SS veteran who chooses to share their memories with us. All the veterans from both sides will soon to be gone from this Earth, and something unique will have gone with them. Their memoires will be all that future generations will have. Well, we must all die sometime...
There are two kinds of Waffen-SS; those who joined at the beginning, 'the True Believers' and tasted victory,knew what it meant to them, then endured defeat until death in true Waffen-SS style.Then there those like Herr Voss, who joined after Stalingrad, who only knew defeat and the prospects after that. The ones that died cannot tell their tale, but they died with their Ehre intact. Most published veterans have to kowtow to post-45 denazification, PC and modern German/Western culture values. So, to be frank, a book by a Waffen-SS veteran reads much like a book by any other war veteran e.g. paratroops, other non-SS formations.
I agree with another reviewer, that it is an interesting perspective from a forgotten front. But his 'crisis of conscience' doesnt really do it for me. Too many Waffen-SS veterans falling on their swords for PC.
Why is it that Waffen-SS was declared a criminal organisation but not the Cheka/OGPU/NKVD/KGB (for having massacred up to 4 times as many people under Stalin?). Why is it you can buy pictures of Stalin openly but not of Hitler in Germany? Why is it that former Nazis and Waffen-SS have to fall on their swords and 'repent', but not former Stslinists, Communists or NKVD/KGB people? Are 6 million worth more than 20-30 million?
Which Holocaust are we damning or ignoring, the Nazi or the Stalinist? However many million innocent people died, by whatever means at whomsever's hands, they still died.
If and when former Waffen-SS veterans (those who are left) canspeak theirminds and hearts freely about all aspects of their service, however 'disagreeable' to modern sensibilities, to be received with respect and objectivity not predjudice and knee jerk reactions, then we may begin to understand why they were fighting as they did. Until we can balance Nazi horrors with equivalent Soviet/Stalinist horrors, and stop persecuting just the Nazis, or better still stop persecuting full stop and begin understanding, Waffen-SS veterans will be obliged to continue writing this sort of relatively anodyne stuff.
I respect him for writing but it just doesnt feel 'real' for Waffen-SS. Too anodyne, too PC. I doubt he could have done it any other way and got published.
No, I dont believe he was a murderer nor any of his comrades; his were just ordinary soldiers, a bit like the British 'Forgotten Army' in Burma. But if other Waffen-Ss did commit acts on the Eastern front, just as did their NKVD military opposites, they all, both sides, still deserve to have their say, their 'day in court'(post-Nurnburg). We can only understand with open minds.