Originally Posted by skalogre
Wow. Talk of being fortunate to be alive... from what I understand the majority of Wehrmacht troops that took part in Barbarossa and fought at Stalingrad did not make it out of the USSR alive. That must have given him quite an interesting perspective on life.
Interesting yes, but also horrifying. He was not older than me (20) when he was called in to join the army. He was sent to Russia where he ended up with a Panzerdivision in Stalingrad. Afterwards he spent 2 years in a prison camp in Hungary. He suffered from nightmares 30 years after he returned. He was forced into the army, and he was never proud of what he did, so he threw his medals and uniform out after the war. Luckily he saved the letters he wrote to my grandmother while he was taken prisoner together with some other stuff. He does have a lot of interesting stories to tell, though most of them are very sad.