It is Friday evening and I just had a nice day of sailing on a nearby lake with a friend of mine. I told him that I am in the process of writing a novel based upon things I experienced in Berlin at the end of WWII and he asked me what triggered me to write about a subject that was long forgotten.
I told him that there are several reasons and trigger points.
But, if I had to name the most compelling reason it would be the fact that most of the books I read about WWII were written by officers who more or less glorified the actions of their troops. There are books describing the heroic actions of pilots, or submarine commanders, of tank commanders and infantry conquerors.
However, very little is written from the perspective of the common foot soldier.
But nothing, absolute nothing has been written by the 14 and 15 year old German boy who was drafted to fight for an idea he could not understand. We were supposed to give our life for a fatherland we never experienced because we hardly knew about our father who was also drafted.
I have to be more specific here. I am not writing about the 14 year old in western Germany who surrendered to the American or British or French forces.
They were in a “different” war because they were fighting a civilized enemy.
I am writing about the 14 year old of Berlin who was first a designated camp leader of 10 and 12 year olds and then hungry and frightened. He knew that he was now facing the brutal Mongolian Soviet forces, which took in the last 3 days of the war no prisoners.
Some of us died at the hands of our own SS.
But hardly any of us survived.
None of the few of us who did survive wrote about it because we had no “voice”.
However, now in the digital world of self publishing and as one of the very few who are still alive and able to report about, I think that I have a story to tell.
Don’t expect a master piece of literature. English is my second language. As you will see….it is a very simple story….about a forgotten time.
A time you will have problems to understand because you were not there.
But, don’t worry, if you have any questions……I will answer ……..I am still around.