A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.
©1992 Siegfried Knappe Charles T. Brusaw (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The storyline, but the presentation was really good as well.
The Human take on the subject. Knappe didn't beat around the bush, he didn't try to justify what happened, he didn't try to escape blame, he simply related the story and allowed reader to make his own mind up.
When Knappe said he knew nothing about the Death Camps it is certain he was telling the truth. Why? Because of how the story is told and what is in it. It is difficult to explain without listening to it.
Great presenter! His voice for this book was darn near perfect.
Yes many, his longing for his wife was probably the saddest, but so was his description of how his brother died. I am not ashamed to say that I shed quite a few tears in this book, and could feel Knappe frustration as he was in Soviet camp. When he got out...wow that's all I can say.
If you have any interest in WW2 and are willing to give a German soldier a break (as oppose to just believe they were all evil) listen to this book.
It is great to get a German soldiers perspective of the war. It is easy to demonize the German military during WWII, but in the end, soldiers are soldiers who take commands and execute them. I often wondered if the soldiers ended up taking on the perspectives of their Nazi leaders. Some did, but what this book confirmed was that war is ugly and evil, but it brings out both the good and the bad. Herr Knappe perspective helped paint a better picture.
I don't have a frame of reference for this book, but I'm hoping in the future I do. I'm looking into books from the Japanese soldier's perspective of WWII.
I have not listened to any of John Wray's other performances, but I loved his performance here. Never got boring and his accents were great!
Not all of us agree with evil.
This book was well worth my time.
Great story- 6 stars. Narrator was flat as as the sheets from which he read. It's almost as though he deliberately avoided any inflection so as not to lead anyone to believe he had any sympathy for the author and his story. Oh well. Rare to find axis memoirs on audio- recommend.
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
In typical German fashion, the story unfolds in a very clinical and sterile way like a battlefield report. I did appreciate some of the details, especially the last days in Berlin at Hitler's bunker, but overall I felt myself wanting for some feeling or philosophical enlightenment on the war itself.I felt there was more to the story despite the author's best attempts to downplay his knowledge (and perhaps culpability) of Nazi atrocities. It's hard for me to rationalize such ignorance considering he was an officer in the general staff.
Certainly one of the best books on WWII that I've read. It's much more a soldier's diary than "a shocking look inside Hitler's war machine", although there is inevitably some of that. It follows Knappe from the end of high school through the army's battles - Poland, France, Italy, USSR, the final days in Hitler's bunker and Berlin, and his capture and imprisonment by the Soviets for the 4 years following the war. Along the way we glimpse the European countryside and German gentile culture, family life, love and marriage, as well as disillusionment and disbelief at the tragedy and horrors inflicted both by, and on, Germany.
I enjoyed the book but I am a WW2 History buff. The book is very dry and not much in the way of building a story. more information then anything else. It was what I expected. A German soldiers account of WW2
This was an interesting look at a soldier who made it through the entire war and Russian captivity - and came home.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
I really enjoyed the description of life in Germany before, during and after the war. I found it fascinating that this man was in Hitlers bunker at the end, and his description of events is memorable.
This guys voice would bore you if he was reading Penthouse Forum. He is monotone and just plain bites.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
The utter patriotism of the soldier fighting for his country and his brothers in arms without the knowledge of the atrocities his government was committing makes for a very important read. The propaganda that kept the soldiers fighting to the bloody end shows the power of the media. This is a powerful read that goes along way to explain why millions of people followed Hitler.
I don't usually enjoy books about war, but this book kept me interested throughout. The author seems to be a very honest person, although I still find it incomprehensible he could not have at least heard rumors of the concentration camps. His book, however, is very enlightening, being the memories of a soldier deeply engulfed in the German military and a prisoner of war even longer held by the Soviets.
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