In this rare World War II memoir, Lothar Herrmann, a soldier from the Wehrmacht, details his unimaginable experience as a German Prisoner-of-War in the Soviet Union.
Hermann grew up in Bavaria, going through the RAD (Nazi Labour Service) before being conscripted into a Wehrmacht Mountain Division (the Gebirgsdivision) in 1940\. He participated in Germany’s advance through southern Ukraine in 1941 and, in 1944, was arrested in Romania while retreating to Germany. The Romanians passed him onto the Soviets, who placed him in a forced labour camp, where he watched two-thirds of prisoners around him die. In 1949, Herrmann was finally released to Germany and returned to Bavaria.
Three million German troops were taken prisoner by the Red Army and around two-thirds of them survived to return to Germany in 1949, but their stories are little known. Klaus Willmann draws on interviews he conducted with Herrmann, to recount these astonishing recollections in the first-person. Depicting the challenges of growing up in Nazi Bavaria to becoming a Soviet prisoner-of-war, this is a gripping and enlightening account from a necessary but rarely explored perspective.