Academic journal article Military Review

Prisoners of the Nazis: Accounts of American POWs in World War II / Davai, Davai! Memoir of a German Prisoner of World War II in the Soviet Union

Academic journal article Military Review

Prisoners of the Nazis: Accounts of American POWs in World War II / Davai, Davai! Memoir of a German Prisoner of World War II in the Soviet Union

Article excerpt

PRISONERS OF THE NAZIS: Accounts of American POWs in World War 11 edited by Harry Spiller. 212 pages. McFarland & Co., Inc., Jefferson, NC. 1998. $27.50.

DAVAI, DAVAI! Memoir of a German Prisoner of World War 11 in the Soviet Union by A.D. Hans Schuetz. 162 pages. McFarland & Co., Inc., Jefferson, NC. 1997. $28.50.

A half-century after the end of World War II, a number of memoirs of "the Good War" have emerged. Veterans, especially those with prisoner of war (POW) experience, suppressed their demons with work and family. For some, retirement brought those demons back.

While these two books might provide a good outlet for emotions, they might be less useful to scholars. Prisoners of the Nazis is simply a collection of oral histories of the POW experience in Europe. No cross checking or questioning appears to have been done, and some memories seem unlikely. The original perception might have been inaccurate, or it may have been blurred with time or contaminated by later information. More credible memories concern the trauma of capture and the joy of liberation.

Late in the war, ex-POWs were used to guard Axis prisoners. …

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