Soldiering for Freedom: A GI's Account of World War II

Soldiering for Freedom: A GI's Account of World War II

by Herman J. Obermayer
     
 

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"From school, from basic training, and later from Europe, Obermayer wrote home with vivid descriptions of life in the Army. Reflective and observant, he recorded his views of both the French and German reactions to the American occupation force, race relations among enlisted men, and the problems of supplying the troops as they crossed Europe after the Normandy… See more details below

Overview

"From school, from basic training, and later from Europe, Obermayer wrote home with vivid descriptions of life in the Army. Reflective and observant, he recorded his views of both the French and German reactions to the American occupation force, race relations among enlisted men, and the problems of supplying the troops as they crossed Europe after the Normandy invasion." One of the few people alive today to have seen Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and other leaders of Third Reich, Obermayer wrote compellingly about the Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, describing Goering's leadership qualities when stripped of the symbols of rank. A Jew himself, Obermayer explained his reactions at the trials when he witnessed the first documentary confirmation that six million Jews had been killed in the Holocaust. He knew and wrote about the official U.S. Army hangman at Nuremberg.

Editorial Reviews

G. Kurt Piehler

“We need more memoirs/anthologies like Herman Obermayer’s. Obermayer is a good storyteller. Historians of American military history, especially the human dimension of war, will find these letters a valuable source.”--G. Kurt Piehler, University of Tennessee
Baltimore Sun
Like a pipeline traversing a foreign countryside, Soldiering uses ordinary materials to link its readers to something vital: the knowledge that war encompasses more than battlefield heroics. It transforms those who take part in it, however bravely, at whatever remove.
National Review
. . . an interesting account of life in liberated Paris and occupied Germany, including an eyewitness report on one of the historic legal proceedings at Nuremberg.
Wall Street Journal
"...a poignant memoir."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585444304
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Series:
Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series, #98
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Donald J. Mrozek
. . . unusually thoughtful and well written. There are letters and memoirs out there, of course. But this set has its own special qualities. (Donald J. Mrozek, Kansas State University)
Gordon R. Sullivan
Herman Obermayer has given historians and interested citizens a soldier's view of World War II. He has given us not only his wonderfully descriptive letters of life during the 1940s, as a soldier in the crusade in Europe, but just as importantly he gives the reader the benefit of his observations of the contemporary world juxtaposed against World War II experiences. (Gordon R. Sullivan, General, USA Retired, Former Chief of Staff United States Army, President of the Association of the United States Army)
G. Kurt Piehler
We need more memoirs/anthologies like Herman Obermayer's. Obermayer is a good storyteller. Historians of American military history, especially the human dimension of war, will find these letters a valuable source. (G. Kurt Piehler, University of Tennessee)
Jack N. Merritt
Herman Obermayer has provided a compelling, first-hand chronicle of World War II in the form of letters home. Most collections of letters provide brief, episodic insights to persons and select events, but Obermayer’s collection, accompanied by photographs, covers, week by week and often day by day, the history of a young, enlisted soldier whose acute perceptiveness foreshadows a career in journalism. It gives wonderful insight into the attitudes and values of the time. He makes some wonderful connections to present day matters that are a real bonus. Truly a great read!
General, U.S. Army, Retired

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