Background Information

Coming up with this website has not been an easy decision – in fact, the idea has been growing, has been pushed back, has been developed, and finally has been put into action for almost ten years now.

The reason is not only the difficult historical background I am dealing with – it is also about family and respect for family history. It is about the fact that I probably would have had a very hard time to convince my grandfather of this idea if he would still be alive. I would like to think that he would have finally approved – although during his lifetime, he has – to my knowledge – never or very rarely discussed the events covered here.

As such, it would have been easier to not work with the material that coincidence put in my hands – but on the other hand, it would have meant to keep a complete and very accurate “first-hand account” hidden from public. It would also have meant to save me a lot of time in the year(s) to come…

A responsible historical research on German Military History between 1933 and 1945 is almost family tradition – although the prime focus usually is tied into the German Luftwaffe. The results of this work can be found elsewhere – however, the motto (and underlying idea) also applies here:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
(George Santayana)

Which is the main reason I think this story should be told. And I will stick to the facts – as my grandfather has written them down. Amended with information from other sources from the time and results of historical research as we know them today. I hope, this provides an insight into historical events unbiased from glorification, blaming, shame and condemnation.

Unfortunately, I can only tell the story from one point of view – which is my grandfather’s point of view. But there is always the other points of view to consider. And I would be most thrilled if someone out there would be in a position to provide “the other point of view”.

Continue to Childhood & Adolescence (1914 – 1933)