History 22/01/20 “we were faced with a real enemy”: the Great Patriotic war through the eyes of the officer Hitler
Kurt Hohoff fought in France, Poland and the Soviet Union. Remembering the time shortly before June 22, 1941, he wrote about himself and his colleagues: “deep down we were hoping that Russia will remain our friend.” But still almost everyone was convinced the Wehrmacht will be able to defeat Russia, as it was with Western Europe. Hohoff kept a journal of his company and wrote everything down in their notebooks. His diary is valuable because it reflects the thoughts and feelings of those moments of the war, when it was still unknown how it will end.
Educated Hohoff admirer of Tocqueville, who read Tolstoy and Turgenev, analyzed what they attended. He saw that his company consisted of peasants, artisans and servants who aspired to military adventure and trophies, and not to the battle against communism. Soldiers do not quite understand what their country is at war. According to Hohoff, “us Germans to fight the Russians was much more difficult than they need us. They were defending their homeland, then how do we…” To this question, the officer was able to answer only in the end of the war.
According to Hohepa, for German soldiers “Russia will forever be the greatest adventure experienced during the war. Here we were dealing with an opponent equal to us armament, leadership and courage. Russian soldiers, like German, had hardening” and “was capable of anything during the attack…”. Here it was not so, as in Poland and France. Before Germany stood a real enemy. If the French, the Germans considered the cowards, the Russian “met death with stoic calm.”
In the beginning of the war Hohoff became the witness of how the Russian officers preferred death to captivity: “…on the powdery yellow wheat field there were two Russian officers in caps and guns on his side. They walked slowly, Smoking a cigarette on the go. We let them close, and when the Russians saw us, heardth and shouted:
But they shot each other with pistols right in the mouth”.
At the beginning of 1941 the Germans did not doubt the victory. The Wehrmacht advanced rapidly. At the end of October 1941 near Kharkov single Russian man predicted the Germans to their death. He said:
” after eight days the winter will start.
— eight days? You are confident in your predictions?
— accurate to the day. Eight days of slush, and then in the early November frost.
“Very well,” said Erhard, then the roads will freeze slightly and become passable.
the Master contemptuously sniffed, and said,
— Your horses will freeze, and the motors will have to work around the clock. And what are you wearing?
With these words he felt the very fabric of our field uniforms and continued:
— At 20 to 30 degrees below zero need a coat. Every Russian it is.
after three weeks the war will end […].
Our will, and you will be done. You Germans were very smart, but I somehow think that everyone else is stupid…”
the Russian was right. The German army barely survived the winter, and a year later at Stalingrad, the Soviet army struck not only military, but a demoralizing blow of such force, which the Germans had not been able to recover. Dreams of victory vanished, and the retreat began.
the Army was not the same powerful “war machine”: “Our troops were exhausted and depleted, planes in the air compared with the Russian was too weak gasoline was never enough, and forage for horses we do not receive. One only the power of the spirit and the desire to succeed does not go far. […] The army ruthlessly […] condemned to death…”
the Defeat was forced to think about the political side of the issue. Hohot before many other Germans came to understand what Hitler was for Germany. In disputes with colleagues he bitterly admitted that he believes the Fuhrer “con man, a geek and a coward” who “broke all my vows, killed his friends, eradicated the whole race, and after the war, had intended to fall upon the Christian Church.” All the gains of Hitler in Europe Hohoff not considered necessary, and saw this as only “the desire of the party spilling into bordering on terror limitless suppression of its own people.” Hohoto was lucky – he survived. But we saw millions become victims of the insane dreams of Adolf Hitler.
© Russian Seven
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