Russian Conquest & Occupation as Viewed by A German Youth, April 1, 2000
Reviewer: William B. Webb (Tallahassee, FL)
"Boy Soldier" is written is a simple yet stunningly powerful style. It captures all of the essential elements of a great story: a sylvan existence which is violated by the ravages of war; a love story even in the midst of conflict; and the triumph 0 the human spirit. It is a seductive journey for the reader who knows in the beginning chapters that a dark period lies ahead. The book begins by offering privileged window on the idyllic country life of a young country lad in Silesia. Gradually the author brings one to an appreciation of the culture, the people and the way of life in the small village of Jauer southwest of Breslau. One senses that there is a timeless beauty to this place, almost crystal in its simplicity and fragility. Having seen the senseless waste of war I knew what was to come as the book progressed, although this was little suspected by the victims of the story, including the author. There was an undeniable tension as the sound of the approaching Russian army grew in intensity. Despite this specter and the destruction of his home and way of life, the writer brought the tragedy and victory of this personal account to pass in a very human way.
One of the things that leap from the pages of this very readable writing is how compatible it would be with a screen version. It is literally in the correct format. This needs to be explored, for among other things it would bring war to the general public in a very personal way quite different from that traditionally seer. I read this book in two sittings. It is a compelling personal account that is a valuable addition to my library.