Storm Trooper on the Eastern Front, Fighting With Hitler’s Latvian SS

An autobiography, edited by the author’s daughter, that provides a unique and provoking view of war in the East. This account demonstrates many aspects of WWII and the upheaval of populations that is rarely covered adequately. – Highly Recommended


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NAME: Storm Trooper on the Eastern Front, Fighting With Hitler's Latvian SS
FILE: R2853
AUTHOR: Mintauts Blosfelds, editor Lisa Blosfelds
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES: 160
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War 2, World War II, WWII, Second World War, Eastern Front, 
SS, Waffen SS, foreign legion, Latvia, PoW care

ISBN: 1-52676-075-4

IMAGE: B2853.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y6okqq7z
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: An autobiography, edited by the author's daughter, that 
provides a unique and provoking view of war in the East. This account 
demonstrates many aspects of WWII and the upheaval of populations that is 
rarely covered adequately. – Highly Recommended

The author served in the Latvian SS on the Eastern Front and many would simply 
write off his story was just another SS thug trying to rewrite his history. This would 
be extremely unfair and, as with so many aspects of WWII, accept a caricature 
created by propaganda and ignorance.

As the Germans advanced into the Soviet Union they desperately needed more men 
in the frontline and more people to fill the jobs in the war industry at home. 
Advancing into the Baltic States, they found many with views compatible with the 
Nazi creed but, although this provided a rich recruiting ground to fill the death 
squads and join the SS  'foreign legion', the Germans did not confine their 
recruitment to real volunteers. The author was given a very simple choice, join the 
SS as a soldier, or become a slave worker in Germany. He was not alone but we 
really have no idea what percentage of SS troopers from the occupied territories 
were really freely volunteering and how many were pressed into service.

Once serving in the SS, any failure to follow orders was punished brutally. It might 
be summary execution, or transfer to a penal battalion, the latter being used as 
cannon fodder, with the survivors sometimes being taken back into regular units. 
That meant that foreign 'volunteers' had to fight hard, and to carry out duties that 
included genocide, or suffer themselves. Certainly no easy choice.

From the author's own account, he did become an instructor, he was wounded 
several times, and he was decorated, suggesting that he made the best of his 
situation. In return, he was automatically liable for brutal execution if captured 
by the Soviets and would have been fortunate to eventually be returned to Germany 
in the 1950s as part of the 8% of German POWs to survive Soviet captivity.

Not surprisingly, in the closing stages of the war the author escaped Soviet capture 
and surrendered to the Americans. He may have escaped extreme Soviet treatment 
but his account of imprisonment by the US does not sit well on the US reputation. 
This could be written off as an account of bias by a soldier indoctrinated by the SS, 
but there are many accounts by German POWs in US hands who have told similar 
stories of their experiences.

The author then joined the army of Displaced Persons. Many thousands were held 
for years in camps that were little better than POW camps while the Allies had to 
try to do something with them. Very many were never to see their homelands again. 
The author eventually moved to England, found work in the coal mines, married and 
formed a family.

This is a very human story and provides a unique set of insights.