Each SC volume has 40-51pp.
Translated from the SS newspaper Das Schwarze Korps, select articles from 1941 to 1945. Each volume is focused on a specific theme. If you enjoyed our SS Culture and SS Creed series, you’ll enjoy this series as well.
Each SC volume has 40-51pp.
A blonde lad lies there – is he even 19 years old yet? – leaning against his flame-thrower and – sleeps! Sleeps despite the thundering of the artillery duel and of the battle noise coming from the neighboring sector. He, too, knows that minutes later in the inferno of the machine-gun rounds and shells his life will count for little, very little, and yet this knowledge does not seem to disturb his sleep. He has taken off the steel helmet and placed it under his head, and his features are totally relaxed…
Another man huddles over there, he has pulled a dog-eared booklet from his bread sack and reads in it with a concentration and reverence as if he were sitting somewhere back home in the light of a table lamp and as if absolute silence surrounded him. That third with a wrinkled brow has carefully selected a cigarette from its small leather pouch and smokes it in thoughtful calm as if consciously enjoying each inhalation. They are probably cigarettes of a special kind – perhaps sent from the homeland. That machine-gun squad over there got together as a little choir and hums a little song, and one man whistles along.
Only the platoon leader stands there as if under tension and looks at his watch from time to time. Yet calm also emanates from his movements as well – deep, secure calm.
But when the time “x” approaches, the blonde lad probably curses because one disturbs his beautiful sleep, this man carefully puts aside his book, that man puts out his cigarette without a word, and the squad puts on their assault gear. But the calm remains – even when death stands between them!
You think that is indifference, dullness, resigned fatalism, irresolute devotion to coincidence? How mistaken you are! – Indeed, the infantryman knows more than any other about the apparently blind, random clutch of coincidence. Indeed, he knows better than any other the force of fate, against which any rebellion seems small and helpless. And yet nothing is farther from him than fatalism and indifference, which leads to irresolute lethargy and has nothing in common with the calm that we mean. They hamper manly decision and rob him of drive and emphasis that alone can lead to success. From calm, however, emerges the well thought out planning, the rational estimation of the possible, the cool evaluation of the given facts. But it is also what gives the tenacity to hold out and the courage for what seems impossible.
The calm of the soldier has decided the matter much more beautifully.