Baker & Taylor Recounting his role in World War II, a German soldier describes his days in Hitler's youth labor service, his five years in a Soviet prison camp, and his reunion with his wife and children. 15,000 first printing.
Blackwell North Amer An uncommonly reflective and illuminating memoir by a German officer who served on virtually all fronts in Europe, Soldat offers a unique inside look at the German side of World War II and a world in ruins. As military history, Soldat is a rich vein of valuable ore, thanks to Siegfried Knappe's eyewitness participation in so many crucial and significant campaigns of the war--including the desperate defense of Berlin, where Knappe's role as operations officer to General Weidling had him shuttling between the lines of combat and Hitler's headquarters and bunker. Equally valuable and unusual are Knappe's descriptions of the early days of Operation Barbarosa and the experience of the frontline soldiers during the invasion of Russia. But these first-person accountings are not the book's only appeal. In Siegfried Knappe we find everyman--a dutiful soldier, a good and decent man. We recognize him as such--even though he unwittingly served a regime of unspeakable horror--because we see ourselves in him. And so we get a rare chance to understand how Hitler motivated a whole generation to carry out his monstrous schemes. And we learn at what cost, as we watch our man struggle to keep his bearings in life as Germany falls into rubble and his whole world collapses. After describing some five frightful years in a Soviet prison camp, Knappe's touching memoir ends with his deeply moving reunion with his wife and children, when he begins again to pick up the pieces of his life.