Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Letters From Stalingrad: #17

...In Stalingrad, to put the question of God's existence means to deny it. I must tell you this, Father, and I feel doubly sorry for it. You have raised me, because I had no mother, and always kept God before my eyes and soul. 
And I regret my words doubly, because they will be my last, and I won't be able to speak any other words afterwards which might reconcile you and make up for these. 
You are a pastor, Father, and in one's last letter one says only what is true or what one believes might be true. I have searched for God in every crater, in every destroyed house, on every corner, in every friend, in my fox hole, and in the sky. God did not show Himself, even though my heart cried for Him. The houses were destroyed, the men as brave or as cowardly as myself, on earth there was hunger and murder, from the sky came bombs and fire, only God was not there. No Father, there is no God. Again I write it and know that this is terrible and that I cannot make up for it ever. And if there should be a God, He is only with you in the hymnals and the prayers, in the pious sayings of the priests and pastors, in the ringing of the bells and the fragrance of incense, but not in Stalingrad.
The key to understanding this ongoing series may be found here, and here. Each letter (39 in all) was written by a different and anonymous German soldier who knew he was going to die. I associate these letters with Christmastime for reasons explained at the links.


  1. I most definitely will be following this series Chickie. Its going to provide me with fascinating reading for a while. My Mothers fiancé was in the Wehrmacht and died in Russia. She met my father after the war and one reason I believe he survived was because he was a draft dodger, every town the German Army occupied he made a hasty retreat on bicycle "black", meaning crossing the borders illegally. He was in the Yugoslavian Army despite being a Donauschwaben and being in the German Army was the last thing he was about to do.

  2. Thanks Allie!

    I've done this for 3 years now so only dozen or so are left to do. If you really want to read them all, they are tagged link.

    But if I were unfamilar with the book I'd go straight away to the audio link I put up here. And be sure to listen to all three parts. The first part has had over 2,000 hits but the third (which has the best stuff) only a couple hundred.

    I got the original German version and toyed with doing some readings/recordings from that but changed my mind.

    Your family's story sounds fascinating.