1. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    Nazi Soldiers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by shakespear57, Feb 18, 2012.

    Writing a play about Nazi germany, but based on real stories. Does anyone know where to find true stories from the nazi soldiers' perspective????
     
  2. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I'd say try googling it if you haven't already, but I feel like it won't be easy to find stories from the Nazi's perspective. It's usually only the winner's stories that get recorded in history, unfortunately.

    If I find anything else, I'll let you know.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would imagine that such stories exist, there are descendants, various extremist groups, things like that. I would have no idea how to go about finding it though.
    You can pull up the names of all convicted criminals in Nuremberg, get the general idea of what they've done, and extrapolate their point of view from what you know about nazi philosophy etc, those sources are much easier to find.
    :Shudder: good luck writing something like that, I couldn't...
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it'll take a lot of creative googling, but i'm sure there are some out there... just don't expect to find them easily...

    but you seem to be confused about the german army... ordinary soldiers weren't usually nazis [if any were]... look up 'nazi party members' to find out what an actual 'nazi' was, before and during ww11... the nazi party did have its own armed group, but they were called the 'waffen ss' and were not part of the german army per se...

    so, first of all, figure out if you really mean 'nazi soldiers' or if you really mean 'german soldiers' under hitler... see more on this here: http://www.wisegeek.com/were-there-non-nazi-german-soldiers-in-wwii.htm
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, if you mean the average German soldier during WWII, that's okay. Not all of them were murderers. Some of them may have been conscripted to fight, some may have agreed with some of Hitler's messages, like 'we're a proud country, and we should punish the others for what they did to us during the First World War!', but quietly disagreed with his 'master race' thing. (I mean, why would they vocalize it, if they know that could paint a big target on them and their families? To us, that is what they should've done, but think about it from their perspective.)

    You must be talking about the Gestappo and members of the high Nazi elite.

    It's...a touchy subject, to be honest, and one that I personally won't approach, ever. You've got guts to even think about it, and you should be proud of that.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am sure there are more than a few books out there about Erwin Rommel and other soldiers that fought for Germany during WW II. I read a book recently titled-- Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-boat Battles Of World War II by the a U-Boat captain, Herbert A. Werner which may give some insight. So there are books out there, but maybe not many by a 'regular' soldier, or if there are, probably out of print. Maybe you could find some diaries that have been published? Just a thought, but as others said, google creatively to find out what's out there. But like mammamaia indicated, there is a difference between a Nazi soldier and the average German soldier during WW II.

    I recall many years back reading about some German fighter pilots in a paperback, but that was back in the 1980s or early 1990s and I cannot recall the titles.

    As an aside, there is a move titled "The Boat" or "Das Boot" which is about a German U-Boat during WW II. I think it originally ran as a mini series, before it was altered and both versions (including in German with subtitles and dubbed in English) are available.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think the book that TWE is thinking of (German fighter pilots) is "The First and the Last", written by Adolf Galland, who became the commanding general of the Luftwaffe's fighter force.

    The allies (the British in particular) became enamored of Rommel because, like a good many members of the German officer class, he was a traditional Prussian who made no secret of his disdain for the Nazis or Hitler himself and because he was deeply involved in the plot to kill Hitler in July of 1944. Rommel's son published a collection of his father's writings after the war, which are still in print. However, I suspect that most of these will be theories of military science, which I don't think is what you're looking for.

    The only other suggestions I can make are a couple of films and novels. "The Young Lions", with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin, made in 1958, about three soldiers during the war. Brando plays the German officer (an officer in the field, not a staff officer) who becomes more and more disillusioned as the war goes on. "The Enemy Below" is about a confrontation between an American destroyer escort (commanded by Robert Mitchum) and a German submarine (commanded by Curt Jurgens). Herman Wouk's two major war novels, "The Winds of War" and "War and Remebrance" include a character named General Armin von Roon, a fictional German military historian.

    Others have mentioned the distinction between Nazis and non-Nazi German soldiers. I'm not sure what you are looking to portray, but I would be surprised if you are able to find anything other than historical documents from the Nazi perspective. It isn't just that they were the losing side, it's that what they represented has been almost universally shunned, including by Germany itself. There may be some diaries out there, but I hope you can read German.

    Good luck.

    Edit: You may also want to see the film, "Judgment at Nuremburg".
     
  8. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Try to find some copies of WWII magazine. They have personal stories and interviews with soldiers from each side. Most of the axis stories come from enlistees, who generally would not be national socialists. The books by Sven Hassel ring a bell to me. He was in the SS he claims.
     
  9. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Try this link:
    http://www.reenactor.net/ww2/ww2_readlist-5.html

    It's a bibliography of material I found when I was researching a similar topic. I don't know which of the books are good for you, because my story is about civilians and I didn't look very hard through the materials about the soldiers, but there's some that sound like what you're looking for, among them:

    World War Two through German Eyes
    War on the Eastern Front: The German Soldier in Russia
    Last letters from Stalingrad
    The Forgotten Soldier

    Have a look, anyway. Even if they don't turn out to be useful, they might still lead you to the right sources. Good luck!
     
  10. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Have you ever read about John Rabe? He's "the good Nazi" who spent much of the war over in China because of an electrical company he worked for. He might help for your purposes, but dang is he depressing. Not only did he witness the crimes the Japanese did to the Chinese, he actually tried to report these atrocities to the Nazi government. Yeah. He tried to help the Chinese civilians, but ended up heading back for Germany -- and was on the East side when the Russians came. It makes me feel better to know that no matter how much my life my stink at one moment or another, it will never suck like John Rabe's life.
     
  11. shakespear57
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    shakespear57 Member

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    I'm thinking like the soldiers at auschwitz??????
     
  12. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    There's a memoir by Rudolph Hess, who was commandant at Auschwitz: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=5343973183&searchurl=kn%3DHoess%2Bmemoirs%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D0%26y%3D0

    I also found one by a doctor who seems to have participated in some of the experiments: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/161145011X/?tag=postedlinks-21

    This one is not about Auschwitz, but maybe it will help anyway. It's about the Polish police squad, who were just "ordinary" people:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141000422/?tag=postedlinks-21


    Keep looking, googling, etc, because there really is no dearth of information. At your library, check both "Nazi Germany" and "The Third Reich" because sometimes filing systems fail to acknowledge that these are the same thing and put them in separate places. Also, if you have a tertiary source (i.e. a history book), check the bibliography for primary sources. Not only will it help you evaluate how good the historian's insights are given the sources, it will help you know where to look!

    Be careful if you do end up using these or other similar sources: these people have an interest in exonerating themselves and they have the benefit of hindsight. They know that their readers will likely find them despicable human beings, and in one way or another, they probably took it to heart when they wrote. So if they vigorously defend the Nazis or if they claim they were brainwashed or did things they didn't want to do---remember that this is only what they say after it all already happened, when they're being (rightfully) demonized. Arguably, we can't ever know precisely what it was like because we weren't there.
     
  13. MrTillinghast
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    MrTillinghast New Member

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    To the extent of my knowledge, which is not very broad on the topic of the Nazis, or Nazi Germany, I would have to suggest that you rake google with a fine toothed comb, but I'm certainly sure that you will find plenty of information. It is one of the biggest events in the history of humanity.

    My cloest experience with Nazi's, is playing the Wolfenstein games, so I'm probably not much help to you on this one, sir :)
     

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