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Reluctant Accomplice:
A Wehrmacht Soldier's Letters from the Eastern Front
Edited by Konrad H. Jarausch
With a foreword by Richard Kohn

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"This remarkable compilation of wartime letters is nothing short of one of the most humbling and insightful reads you're likely to come across this year."--David Marx, David Marx Book Reviews

"Reluctant Accomplice is a fascinating, important, and highly readable collection. The documents add depth, complexity, and a tragically human dimension to our understanding of how German soldiers experienced the war on the Eastern Front."--Alan E. Steinweis, Journal of Modern History

"In this outstanding edition, Konrad H. Jarausch and his assistants Klaus J. Arnold and Eve M. Duffy have done an excellent job. The book contains an impressive biographical essay about the son's search for the father he never knew. Writers may succeed in producing approaches of this kind--at least sometimes. But historians? Usually such attempts fall flat. Yet this edition impressively proves the contrary--it is indeed possible."--Christian Hartmann, English Historical Review

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"There were German soldiers in World War II who went to war with open eyes. Many condoned what they saw or did not care. Others were shaken, and even they hesitated to write it all down. Their flickers of conscience, the way they struggled to articulate their doubts, their sense of futility in the face of degrading circumstances, and their knowledge of the incommensurability of good deeds in a barbarous war--all this makes the letters of Konrad Jarausch an important and challenging document."--Michael Geyer, University of Chicago

"This is a fascinating and moving collection of letters from the German side of World War II. The esteemed historian Konrad H. Jarausch has edited the letters of his father, a reserve officer on the eastern front, who died of typhoid fever in 1942. With unblinking honesty, Jarausch presents the father he never knew--a deeply religious, well-educated, conservative nationalist, a man sympathetic to the Nazis. Yet amid the brutalities perpetrated by the Third Reich, Jarausch Senior found his common humanity with Nazism's victims. Jarausch Junior's sensitive and intelligent introduction, which masterfully captures the complicated meaning of German history in the twentieth century, only adds to the value of the book."--Eric D. Weitz, author of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy

"This is a moving collection of letters by Jarausch's father, who served as a soldier in World War II and died in Russia in 1942. Here is the evolution of a patriotic supporter of Hitler's regime into a man so horrified by the reality of German war making, war crimes, and genocide that he gradually loses faith in everything he believed in."--Omer Bartov, author of Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich

"A very intriguing book. These letters provide a valuable portrait of a middle-class German at war. His letters are worth reading for his seriousness of purpose, his wonderful eye for detail, and his persistent humaneness in the face of the awful conditions around him. There is poignancy knowing Jarausch looked for and found his own father, whom he never knew, through these letters."--Norman M. Naimark, author of Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe

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File created: 8/19/2014

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