Softcover. 48pp. A dozen original illustrations.
Translated from the SS original. This collection of true war stories from the eastern front was published by the SS as a tribute to the Waffen-SS volunteers, especially the non-Germans from other Germanic lands.
Softcover. 48pp. A dozen original illustrations.
FROM FREE WILL
You ask me why I went. Why I put on the grey uniform from my own free will and without order started the march of which both of us, you and I, do not know how it will end and whether the day will come when we will meet again.
What can it be, you ask further, that tears me from your arms and puts me on a path that leads away from you? You had the belief that only you had influence on my days and now you are disappointed. You see that something else is greater and stronger, and causes me to trade my life in tender security for one of constant danger and a totally unknown future.
You have overlooked one thing: that I am a man – and a German!
Didn’t you feel during the past few months how I suffered, how everything in me fevered to participate in our folk’s great sacrifice? Didn’t you feel that I felt inferior as long as I was not allowed to bear a weapon? That I feared to be an outcast who is not worthy to fight the Führer’s battle?
Five times I requested and for the first time even begged: Accept me! And when the messenger handed me the order to report, the hand accepting it trembled.
Forgive me, but that was and is and remains the hour of my greatest joy! I made it! I am a soldier!
Never before had an experience moved me so deeply!
The hard days of training came. It was a test. I passed it.
The day of the swearing in came. I was in bed in camp with my leg in a cast.
“You stay there!”
“I will come along!”
I begged in a very unsoldierly manner – that was the second time in my life: Take me along! I want to go into the field, and without being sworn in I will not be allowed to go.
They took me along. They drove him there and put me into the ranks. My foot hurt, but I stood firm! We sang the song of loyalty. And with a voice overcome by emotion – so great was the excitement – I spoke the holy oath.
Weeks passed. My great wish was fulfilled: I stand in the field!
I am a combat messenger. The baptism of fire is well behind me. Not too long ago I received the Iron Cross from the hand of the commander in recognition of my conduct.
You can never image what that hour means to me! My heart wants to explode – it is so full of pride and joy.
I have become a soldier from my own free will and I only had the one great wish to pass the test and prove myself worthy of the honor that allows me to wear the same uniform that our Führer wears. Everything that happened as a result I have accepted as the gift of a higher power. It made the enemy bullets miss my heart; it showed the path on my message deliveries; it guided my steps through dark nights when death and horror lurked and still lurk. I thank it for the knowledge that this German folk is my folk, that this Germany is my homeland and that the Führer is also my Führer! That I have been born in this time, that I am healthy and can devote my whole energy to this work of which the future will say: In these days Germany was finally resurrected to an unprecedented greatness and immortal glory. Lord, how did I earn this good fortune?
Do you still want to ask, why?
So let me tell you. I want to serve my folk, to accompany it on the path to power and to help to pave this path that has no precedent. This splendidly magnificent folk should finally stand where it belongs. Never again a servant, rather eternally and for always master. It should win life where all others perish. Now the yearning should and must and will become reality, that German greatness finds recognition in the world. This is neither power madness nor revenge: Germany will unify after victory. Germania’s tribes participate in the creation of a new world and being a man receives a new purpose.
For this goal one may not speak or write; the starting point can never be the desk. For this goal one must fight. For only on the battlefield where the men stand grows something valid, enduring and great. Only from blood-drenched earth rises the seed of rebirth that will plough down the old, decayed and dead in order to bear new life.
That is the reason why I am here and not there with you. Why I shoot and do not speak, why I lie and crawl in Russian dirt, although the soft pillow would certainly be more comfortable. I do not want comfortable rest and find no pleasure in a life of bourgeois satisfaction as long as the holy goal has not been won.
I know I was not called by citizen’s duty. I have, or rather I had, a passport of neutral nationality, and nobody could have stopped me from hiding behind the “right to wait”. But I do not want that; I cannot and I will not!
In my veins flows German blood; in my heart pounds passionately a German heart; and my senses feel and think German! I did not have the duty to go. What drove me was German yearning, was the faith in my folk that is German to the bone, German and only German, even if a whole world denies and contests it.
In me is faith and only faith. But it is so strong that every wave breaks against it. For this faith I once sat in prison in the smaller homeland. For this faith I now stand in the field: completely warrior and fanatically loving!
Let yourself, immortal beloved, be drawn into the ecstasy of feeling. Let yourself be seized by the power of faith. Give to this Germany that I am – and will one day die – what your great heart alone can give and take from it, like I, as thanks the joy of highest fulfillment of duty, because it is from free will.
And if I do not return, do not mourn and do not walk in black through Germany’s free provinces. Bear with proud head what has been placed upon your heart. And if one looks at your questioning, compose your voice and tell him: I did indeed give everything, but it is nothing at all compared to what I owe my Führer.
So do I see in life and in death the deep, German meaning and willingly give up what I received in the blood of my German ancestors.
Lord, bless this proud, free will. Give me the strength to always and every hour serve it. For the folk’s benefit and piety that I love with every fiber of my being and of my hot heart.