Book look: soldiers, skills and stereotypes

A lot has been said and written about the policies and kameradenactions of the German army during World War Two. While some authors made no efforts to avoid polemic exaggerations and cliché-laden portraits, others attempted to serve up a fair analysis of the Wehrmacht’s soldiers. “Kameraden”, a new book by Felix Römer of the German Historian Institute London (GHIL), is based on over 100,000 pages of bugging protocols of the US American army created at Fort Hunt between 1942 and 1945. These recordings reveal the large variety of soldiers’ opinions about Adolf Hitler’s warmongering. While some of the detained Germans boast about their alleged heroic achievements, others were clearly traumatised from what they had to endure on the battlefields. Römer’s book discloses how the soldiers treated each other and how their dealt with the growing disillusion regarding the Third Reich’s chances to win the war.

Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht von innen.
By Felix Römer
Published by Piper (

“Deutsch als Fremdsprache nach Themen” is a another superb release by Cornelsen, a Berlin-based publishing house, for German learners. The book’s structure is clear, its exercises are helpful and the number of listed vocabulary enormous. However, the vast number of words bears no risk of confusion since the terms are listed in topical groups. Erwin Tschirner’s book features a rich variety in this regard, from the human body and a fisherman’s tasks to what young hairdresser and restaurant trainees must consider. The exercises of this new release – which leads to the international language level of B1 – are also based on private life occurrences, from speaking about an upcoming holiday to solving relationship conflicts.

Deutsch als Fremdsprache nach Themen
By Erwin Tschirner
Published by Cornelsen (

Severin Groebner, a Viennese Kabarett stage entertainer who lives in Germany, has attempted to investigate the German soul. In his new book “Servus Piefke”, Groebner writes about Germans’ mentality, their passion for football and culinary aspects. He explains what their experiences in war means in the world of today when it comes to getting along with residents of the country. Groebner – who stresses that he does not shy away from using stereotypes and making exaggerations – also takes a closer look at the well-known claim that Germans are the most efficient people in the whole world.

Servus Piefke
By Severin Groebner
Published by Südwest (

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