Cover image for Boy soldier : a German teenager at the Nazi twilight
Boy soldier : a German teenager at the Nazi twilight
Thamm, Gerhardt B., 1930-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2000]

Physical Description:
viii, 179 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D811 .T4386 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



As a 15-year-old boy I fought briefly in a war. My fight was neither noble nor heroic. I saw the horrors that no 15-year-old boy should ever see. I came into war purely by happenstance, and survived it purely by luck.Gerhardt B. Thamm grew up on his grandfather's farm in Lower Silesia, the hinterlands of Germany. In early 1945 this land, near the Czechoslovakian and Polish borders, became a battleground. The Soviets captured Lower Silesia in February, and Thamm, like many of his Hitler Youth high school classmates, was conscripted to fight on the Eastern Front until the last few days of World War II, experiencing firsthand fearsome barbarity and atrocity. Thamm's family was deported from Silesia in 1946 to West Germany. Gerhardt Thamm arrived in the United States in 1948. The 17-year-old Thamm joined the U.S. Army the same year and served more than 20 years as an enlisted man.Maybe, just maybe, I fought in this war to escape the barbarity. Maybe I wrote this book to still the memories.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Prologuep. 5
Part 1 The Way It Had Beenp. 7
Part 2 On the Home Frontp. 17
1 1939p. 19
2 1940p. 24
3 1941p. 32
4 1942p. 39
5 1943p. 42
6 1944p. 55
7 1945p. 70
Part 3 Gotterdammerung (Apocalypse)p. 75
8 The Omenp. 77
9 Distant Thunderp. 82
10 Flightp. 87
11 Retreat into the Sudeten Mountainsp. 96
Part 4 Boy Soldiersp. 103
12 Oh, to Be a Soldierp. 105
13 Sergeant "One-Eye"p. 107
14 Frontline Dutyp. 111
15 The "Forgotten Front"p. 125
16 The Russian Boyp. 132
17 "Routine" Patrolp. 139
18 Ah, Nataschap. 143
19 To the Bitter Endp. 151
Postscript: Strangers in Their Own Landp. 159
Notesp. 169
Indexp. 175