Fur Volk and Fuhrer

  • by Erwin Bartmann, Derik Hammond
  • Narrated by James Foster
  • 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Like many Germans, Berlin schoolboy Erwin Bartmann fell under the spell of the Zeitgeist cultivated by the Nazis. Convinced he was growing up in the best country in the world, he dreamt of joining the Leibstandarte, Hitler's elite Waffen SS unit. Tall, blond, blue-eyed, and just 17-years-old, Erwin fulfilled his dream on Mayday 1941, when he gave up his apprenticeship at the Glaser bakery in Memeler Strasse and walked into the Lichterfelde barracks in Berlin as a raw, volunteer recruit.
On arrival at the Eastern Front in late summer 1941, Erwin was assigned to a frontline communications squad and soon discovered that survival was a matter of luck - or the protection of a guardian angel. Good fortune finally deserted Erwin on 11 July 1943 when shrapnel sizzled through his lung during the epic Battle of Kursk-Prokhorovka. Following a period of recovery, and promotion to Unterscharf├╝hrer, Erwin took up a post as machine-gun instructor with the Ausbildung und Ersatz Bataillon.
From the war on the southern sector of the Eastern Front to a bomb-shattered Berlin populated largely by old men and demoralized lonely women, this candid eyewitness account offers a unique and sometimes surprising perspective on the life of a young Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler volunteer.


What the Critics Say

"This is a valuable memoir, providing both a good account of the nature of the fighting in the East, and the changing attitudes of the author, both towards the Nazi regime and the chances of final victory." (History of War)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I admire this man's loyalty

I loved this book. I have never before read an SS man's reminiscences, so free of political or self-serving rhetoric.
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- Amazon Customer

High rating with a major proviso

Giving the story 5 stars is a bit misleading. While I found it interesting to hear about training for and participating in the war I was shocked to learn how little understanding he had, even in his old age, of the reasons Germany went to war in the first place. He says it was to prevent Bolshevism world wide with no awareness or perhaps refusal to see Hitler's war-mongering. Even his telling of the suffering of German soldiers makes it sound like no one suffered as much and there was certainly no acknowledgement of concentration camps and their purpose. Oh, and he helped a Jewish neighbor once so I guess he did his bit. The only reason I finished it was because I thought perhaps there would be some coming to terms with his contribution to Europe's destruction but that was too much to hope for. I don't care if he was only 9 when Hitler came to power. He had 50+ years to understand and he never did.
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- Mary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio