The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 5 Nov 2013
Werner Otto Müller-Hill turned 59 years of age on 27 Mar 1944, and decided to, against all common sense, start a diary in order to record his thoughts, many of which revolved around his country, Germany, that was starting to show signs of collapse. A military judge, he knew very well the danger should the diary be discovered, and we are lucky that he chose to bear such risks so that we have his first hand account today. Published as The True German (translated into English by Jefferson Chase), the content of his diary entries ranged from the casual...
... to the serious...
... and to something on the humorous and sarcastic side...
Regardless of the tone of each entry, his words put me inside the head of a member of the German intelligentsia who was caught between his duty as a German and his revulsion for the Nazi state. Read as a book, some of his notions might seem highly repetitive. However, after stepping back to recall that it was compiled a few paragraphs at a time over the span of over a year, I could feel his increasing frustration toward the decisions made by top level leaders, the likes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, which were more and more laughable as the American, British, and Soviet front lines moved closer to the heart of Germany. Memoirs could not be treated as history, let alone a diary, but The True German would certain serve as a great supplement to other works on the history of the final months of Nazi Germany.
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