A German soldier’s view of the Russians

German infantry passing a burning Russian village, during the 1941 advance.

The letters of Karl Fuchs show that he was an intelligent, well read, thoughtful young man with great consideration for his family. He had attended University and had started training as as schoolmaster before joining the army soon after the outbreak of the war. His letters also express the ideas of many of his generation serving in the Wehrmacht, a generation whose entire formative years had been entirely spent under the Nazi regime and its all pervasive propaganda. On the 4th August 1941 he wrote to his father, also serving in Russia:

The change in me from a “home” soldier to a frontline soldier was so sudden that I hardly noticed the transition. From the very first shot on, the choice was a simple one: It’s either the enemy or me! That’s been my motto from the start; you simply can’t afford to think in war.

Contemplation could cause your death. On the contrary, you must take aim at the enemy, keep your finger on the trigger and come hell or high water, you must keep self-preservation uppermost in your mind.

You can imagine that we have pulled off a couple of nifty stunts, especially with the help of you guys in the Air Force. We’ve really gotten to know the flyboys in this war. Without exception they are top-notch guys and bring death and destruction to the enemy.

The pitiful hordes on the other side are nothing but felons who are driven by alcohol and the threat of pistols pointed at their heads. There is no troop morale and they are at best cannon fodder.

You should read the pamphlets that they drop from the sky with better accuracy than their bombs. “Desert! Join the Bolsheviks! You’ll be safe with us!” They are nothing but a bunch of assholes! Excuse the expression, but there simply is no other term for them.

Having encountered these Bolshevik hordes and having seen how they live has made a lasting impression on me. Everyone, even the last doubter, knows today that the battle against these subhumans, who’ve been whipped into a frenzy by the Jews, was not only necessary but came in the nick of time.

Our Fuhrer has saved Europe from certain chaos. And so we move on to the final battle and victory.

I shake your hand and greet you.

Germany, Sieg Heil!

Your loyal son, Karl

See Your Loyal & Loving Son: Letters of Tank Gunner Karl Fuchs, 1937-41

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