Translated from the Third Reich original Von der Freiheit des Kriegers, published in 1940 in Berlin by Nordland-Verlag, which published manySchutzstaffel publications. The author, Kurt Eggers, is one of the best known National Socialist authors. His writings appeared in various NSDAP publications. He dedicated this book to his third son, Götz. When the Second World War broke out, Kurt Eggers volunteered for the Waffen-SS. This work is a celebration of the warrior and soldier from a National Socialist perspective. The first chapter is Nietzschean in style. The rest of the book consists of a fascinating dialogue between two Freikorps soldiers in the German east.
Finally, you began to speak again. “The voluntariness, with which the soldier decides for the acceptance of the most dangerous duty, is the measuring stick with which his honorable bearing should be measured. And on the path of honor he remains, he who in the struggle with temptation makes the will triumph and inescapably, without paying heed to the countless temptations which seek to bribe him to preserve his own life at the cost of duty, fulfills the demands of the soldierly law. In the terrible struggle of the last years, amid the downfall of all bourgeois concepts, the sense of the old soldiers among us for the demands which lie above the daily routine was sharpened. Who by the hour encounters death with all its terrors, he seeks and finds soldier’s honor, before whose radiance the darkness of death pales. Why, when the timid eagerly grabbed the welcomed opportunity to break off the fight, did the soldiers remain at lost posts? Because they were honorable, you understand. Honorable even then, when nobody was there to see dishonor in retreat. Honor is thus independent of praise and blame, it needs to witness, no external formula, no charter. It cannot be bestowed, it also does not need to be defended. The honor of the soldier is the idea of voluntariness to make the sacrifices which the life of the nation demands without any consideration. Hence he has honor, who serves this duty.”