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Thread: The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer

  1. #1
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    Default The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer

    The Forgotten Soldier remains one of the best written war memoirs ever with deep personal analysis. Sajer was a french-german grunt in the elite Greater Germany Armored division. Book ends with him being in american custody.
    however, there have been claims to the book's authenticity in that the GD rolls indicate that no Guy Sajer existed and certain events/things he said happened in fact didn't. also, there are no photos of guy sajer or his comarades.
    Last edited by Procyon; 03-19-2012 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    I have it and started it but had to stop because I have other books that need to be read. However I will finish this when I can. 8)

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    Although I have read and enjoyed this book, I agree that it does come with some controversy. There is a discussion of the pros and cons here:

    http://members.shaw.ca/grossdeutschland/sajer.htm

  4. #4
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    Excellent book! Some folks seem to think there are discrepencies as noted above, but the author does seem to do well communicating his feelings and what it was like for him during this time. A good read!

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    I've heard of it but I've never read it. I cant seem to find it in stores - any help besides ordering it online?




    The Axis Project - 101st Airborne
    "Captain Sobel, What is the god-damn problem?"

  6. #6
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    Sorry, Ordered mine online through amazon.com There is a newer edition that is illustrated, but it just has some photos and nothing of anyone specific to the book.

  7. #7
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    It's a while since I read it, but I thought there was a bit of cross-over somewhere with Sven Hassel's "Legion of the Damned".

    Might be a coincidence or one may have read the others work.

  8. #8

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    My colleague Bryan Hiatt did a review of this book and posted it on my WW2DB site:

    http://ww2db.com/read.php?read_id=27

    He seemed to have liked the book as well.
    World War II Database
    8400 photos and growing!

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    I am reading it for the second time now. It is the most moving, powerful book I have ever read.

    These idiots who sit on their butts and pick holes in it's authenticity make me laugh.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper
    I am reading it for the second time now. It is the most moving, powerful book I have ever read.

    These idiots who sit on their butts and pick holes in it's authenticity make me laugh.
    Can you expand on this. I'm interested as to why you think its the genuine article.

  11. #11
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    Of course any opinion is subjective, but my instinct tell me that it is authentic. Only a soldier would be able to describe the horror, hardships and comradeship with such intensity. I personally do not believe that it is the work of a novelist.

    I have read the criticism ( and counter-criticism) and nothing strikes me as being conclusive. Even if there are a few factual errors in there, what does it prove? I have trouble remembering what I did last week sometimes.

    I could be wrong of course ( it wouldn't be the first time), but we have to trust our own judgement in these things.

  12. #12
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    I agree, I believe too that it is based on facts, but I think the unit may be diffrent. Damned good read though.

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    I think it's great too, I do believe he added to his own personnel experience in the war to create the book though. However, if he had just come out and said thats what he did, like Remarque in "All Quiet On The Western Front", he wouldn't have got in all this controversy. Remarque really only fought for about 4 months in the trenches before he was severely wounded, where as his character Paul fights for years.

  14. #14
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    I've read the book and thought it was a fantastic and moving account.

    Following Firefly's link, as the author said:

    "Apart from the emotions I brought out I confess my numerous mistakes.That is why I would like that this book may not be used under no circumstances as a strategic or chronological reference. Except for some clear landmarks we didn't know exactly where we were (I am speaking about Russia). We had only code numbers for mail which meant nothing to us .... In the black Russia of winter I would not have been surprised if someone had told me that we were in China."
    I have heard of many young soldiers in the British Army whom don't know what Division they are in so as the author was only 16-20 years old at the time it wouldn't be too surprising if he got a few things wrong.

    A great read.

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ddodson View Post
    Excellent book! Some folks seem to think there are discrepencies as noted above, but the author does seem to do well communicating his feelings and what it was like for him during this time. A good read!
    I am up to pg 939 and this book would have to be the most emotional true stories that I have read. Well one part where his friend died an awful death, and a few other situations that Guy was in but other than that I really enjoy it so far and tells of what else really did go on, not the usual sorta-stereotype of the war but kind of reveals alot more of what happened through the eyes of this soldier, I wonder if he is still alive for real type thing. I doubt it though, but to the point this book is incredible and I recommend anyone into true stories (obviously).

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