By Willy Peter Reese
A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of warfare, Russia 1941-44 is the haunting memoir of a tender German soldier at the Russian entrance in the course of international conflict II. Willy Peter Reese used to be simply 20 years outdated whilst he discovered himself marching via Russia with orders to take no prisoners.
Three years later he was once useless. Bearing witness to--and engaging in--the atrocities of struggle, Reese recorded his reflections in his diary, abandoning an clever, touching, and illuminating standpoint on existence at the jap entrance. He documented the carnage perpetrated via either side, the destruction which used to be exacerbated by way of the younger soldiers' starvation, frostbite, exhaustion, and their day-by-day fight to outlive. And he wrestled together with his personal sins, with the belief that what he and his fellow infantrymen had performed to civilians and enemies alike used to be unforgivable, along with his turning out to be wisdom of the Nazi guidelines towards Jews, and along with his deep disillusionment with himself and his fellow men.
An overseas sensation, A Stranger to Myself is an unforgettable account of guys at struggle.
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Additional resources for A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-1944
This present study contains many references to his meticulous scholarship. During the Soviet era his options for research and publication were limited. 22 In October 1983, I presented him with a rare copy of a Russian translation of Harrison Salisbury’s monumental account of the blockade, The 900 Days, the original English version of which was available in Leningrad only in the restricted “special holdings” of one or two libraries and on the black market. After he read the book, he told me then that his only major criticism of it was that he strongly doubted the veracity of its few brief descriptions of cannibalism.
In early 1941, Stalin, Marshal Grigory Kulik, who was chief of the Main Artillery Administration, and Zhdanov decided to replace the 76-millimeter gun with a 107-millimeter one, mainly because they felt that the larger gun had performed well in the Civil War. However useful the 107-millimeter gun may have been for artillery use, it was not practical for tank use. Boris Vannikov, narkom of weaponry, told Zhdanov that he was disarming the Red Army by replacing the 76-millimeter gun. Vannikov was arrested on 7 June for his protest but reemerged as deputy head of the weaponry commissariat in August 1941.
By 1941, several of the gorkom’s sixteen departments, including military, defense and aviation industry, machine construction, shipbuilding, and electricity and electronics, dealt primarily with matters pertaining to defense and war. 17 Changes in production at the massive Kirov plant, which with thirty-nine thousand employees by 1941 was one of the nation’s largest factories, illustrate Stalin’s rushed and erratic campaign to boost production of war matériel. In May 1940, two months after the costly war with Finland had ended, the factory began manufacturing the sixty-ton KV tank (named for Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, who in fact was fired from the post of defense commissar that very month for his failures in the Winter War), which carried a 76-millimeter gun also produced at the factory.
A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-1944 by Willy Peter Reese