DIARY OF A SOLDIER

by White Wolf

March 17, 1943

Today is my birthday. It used to mean something to me, but it doesn't anymore. There are a lot of things that used to mean something to me. War does that to people. At least, that's what it's done to me. I fight and kill just to stay alive, yet life has no meaning for me. It can't be for me, because I have nothing and no one to live for. It can't be for my country, because I don't believe in what my country is fighting for. I never thought I could say it, but it's true. I love my country, but I don't believe in the things it stands for and is trying to force on others. No country has the right to do that.

At first I was willing, even happy, to go out and give my life for my homeland--for Germany. That was before I found out what a hell war is. I've seen men literally torn to pieces by bullets and shells and other men go to pieces just watching it. A man-made hell is by far the most horrible and useless kind of hell there is. And, we are making that hell now.

March 21, 1943

I've been through four more days of that hell since I last had the chance to write. I believe that if it weren't for the few lines I scribble on this ragged paper, I'd go mad. I find some kind of peace in it. The only peace I've known in four years.

March 23, 1943

We lost over a thousand men in a single battle yesterday. I almost found myself envying them. They were not only out of the conflict now, but they had died for something they believed in, something they were willing to give their lives for. I can never say that. I'm fighting against something I do believe in. Perhaps, that is the worst hell of all.

March 24, 1943

I heard snatches of the Deutschlandsender last night. Hitler was expounding on the virtues of the Third Reich, and how it, under his leadership, would rule the world. It made me sick inside. He's ruining our country. I know in my heart that we will lose this war. There are too many forces against us. Evil will lose out in the end, and the Nazis are evil. I'm not a Nazi. I'm only a soldier, but I'll be swept up in the destruction.

I can't voice my opinion, because it would mean instant death. That's the perfect society we hope to inflict on the world: a society where disagreement with the State means death.

I wonder if there are others who feel as I do. Are there those who know we are wrong but are too afraid to make known their convictions? Are there others who go on killing for a cause they hate? Germany is being destroyed, and I'm helping. I'm fighting the enemy, but I'm killing Germany.

March 26, 1943

When I'm on the move and don't have time to think, I'm all right. It's when we've stopped, like now, that I begin to think. The more I think about what's going on, the more I reproach myself for what I'm doing. I tell myself I would rather speak out the truth and die than go on, but I'm afraid to die. Am I a coward? Doesn't it take more courage to live than to end it all?

March 27, 1943

Today we marched. For thirty miles, we marched: worn and ragged, hungry and cold, dying and wishing to be dead. Many dropped by the side of the road, because they couldn't push themselves any longer. Those who had friends were carried; those that didn't were left behind. Some continued for Germany, some for self-preservation, some for the chance at food and rest, not looking beyond that. I don't know what kept me going. After a while, I didn't even know I was moving. It was automatic, my feet moving forward through some will of their own, and forcing my body to follow. I stared ahead, unseeing, unfeeling. Tomorrow we march again. Tomorrow--funny how meaningless that word is in war. There are so very few tomorrows for so very many. But, for me there's always tomorrow.

March 28, 1943

Today we marched.

March 30, 1943

Today we passed a wrecked convoy. Tanks, trucks and men were strewn along the road. The vehicles were smoldering, and some even continued to blaze. Men were dying and calling for help, but there is no room for the maimed in the perfect Master Race. No room.

April 2, 1943

I've thought about why I don't go and fight in the Resistance for the Allies, since it's their cause I believe in. I know it's because it would mean death for my countrymen. I could never willingly kill another German soldier, no matter how much they believe in the Fuehrer and his mad dream of world domination. Why is nationality more important than ideals and principles? I don't have the answer.

April 3, 1943

I'm sorry for the things I've done in this war: for the men I've killed. At first, I believed that because I was caught up in things that were beyond my control and was only 'following orders', I wasn't to blame for my actions. I had no choice. Everyone has a choice. I chose to live, and if the cost of that life was to kill, then so be it. I no longer feel that way. The deaths I have caused will live with me forever. It's a heavy burden I carry. Those I killed may have died at another time, if that was to be their fate, but to have died by the hand of someone, who believed as they do, is... I'm glad they never knew.

April 4, 1943

I now pray for death, but I live. Perhaps, that is my punishment.

I believe in God. I hope He can forgive me.