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Flakhelfer to Grenadier - Memoir of a Boy Soldier 1943–1945 - cover

Flakhelfer to Grenadier - Memoir of a Boy Soldier 1943–1945

Karl Heinz Schlesier

Publisher: Helion & Company

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Summary

The story of a German boy drafted into military service during WWII is vividly recounted in this memoir of combat and survival.   On January 7, 1943, the German Government ordered that boys as young as fifteen be drafted into anti-aircraft service, the Reich Labor Service, and the armed forces. Throughout the war, about 200,000 boys became Flakhelfer and served in batteries of light and heavy flak.   Drafted at fifteen, Karl Heinz Schlesier served in regions that suffered some of the heaviest air raids of the war. His memoir is a coming of age story in a world gone mad, where working beside Russian POWs, protecting industries with slave labor, courting a girl among bombed-out ruins was unremarkable. As the war approached its bitter end, Schlesier was thrown into a disintegrating frontline only fifty kilometers from his childhood home.   Basing his memoir solely on his diary notes and memories of that period, Schlesier has consciously avoided including what he learned after the war. Flakhelfer to Grenadier gives a voice to the silent generation of boys born in Germany in 1926 and 1927. This generation has been silent because the horror it knew pales in comparison to the horror of the war machine it was conscripted into.
Available since: 06/19/2014.
Print length: 184 pages.

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