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Other side of the story

Other side of the story


     Americans interested in military history have often wondered what made millions of soldiers of the Third Reich fight against overwhelming odds until the bitter end. They did this even though they had known for months, sometimes for an entire year, that for Germany the war was lost. Many of them returned voluntarily to their fighting units with unhealed wounds from prior injuries.

     Hans Schmidt, at war's end a twice-wounded, 18-year-old corporal in Hitler's famed SS-Leibstandarte Panzer division, and a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, the campaign in Hungary and the last, desperate struggles in Austria, was one of them.

     On May 6, 1945, he finally surrendered to American troops only to end up in one of the brutal stockades without shelter, little food and water, that have been called "Eisenhower's death camps," where as many as a million German POWs may have perished after the cessation of hostilities. Thanks to the kindness of individual GIs, Schmidt avoided being turned over to the Red Army, or other prolonged imprisonment in Allied custody.

     In this book, SS-Panzergrenadier, Hans Schmidt, who immigrated to the United States shortly after the end of the war and became a U.S. citizen many decades ago, tells his story with frankness, and with an uncanny ability to answer the questions American readers may have about the Third Reich, the Hitler Youth, the Waffen-SS, and many other facts connected with World War II. He does not shy away from such sensitive subjects as the so-called "Malmedy Massacre" or the destruction of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane by SS troops in an anti-partisan reprisal action in June of 1944. Schmidt tells the German side of the occurrences.

     American veterans of the Battle of the Bulge and World War II may be interested to know what their counterparts in this momentous campaign thought of them and how they lived and felt in that cold winter in the Ardennes so long ago.


     SS-Panzergrenadier
has 424 pages, including a picture insert and other illustrations. It is bound in hard cover and available from Hans Schmidt, PO Box 11124, Pensacola FL 32524. ISBN 0-9669047-4-5.

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