By Leon C. Standifer
In his hugely acclaimed Not in Vain, Leon C. Standifer stated his reports as a small-town Mississippi boy who at age nineteen stumbled on himself combating as a wrestle infantryman in international warfare II France and Germany. Binding up the Wounds consists of the tale past V-E Day to explain what the writer observed, heard, felt, and discovered as a member of the yankee career military within the fatherland of its defeated enemy.
Standifer, who served within the 94th Infantry department in western Germany, the Sudetenland, and Bavaria within the first yr of profession, chronicles that distinct and chaotic time from the point of view of a customary GI. Germany used to be an epic panorama of human desire, and towns lay in ruins. however the struggle used to be over, mild and laughter have been once more attainable, and, as Standifer remembers, "we had a ball in the course of that first year." one of the issues he skilled or witnessed have been black-market operations huge and small (American cigarettes served as a common foreign money, and some oz of mess-hall grease or used espresso grounds have been useful commodities); the spectacle of gung-ho officials trying to flip strive against troops into spit-and-polish paraders; the exploitive video games performed among American squaddies and German girls; a gut-wrenching stopover at to a displaced people camp; and the problems fascinated with guarding captured infantrymen who have been not the enemy.
Perhaps such a lot revealing, and sometimes dazzling, are the attitudes Standifer stumbled on between usual Germans towards the conflict, the Nazis, the "Hitler occasions" in general-not in simple terms through the career, but additionally a long time later while he revisited Germany and spoke with aged survivors of these instances. For there are fairly voices telling the story of Binding Up the Wounds. One is that of the combat-hardened yet another way naive twenty-year-old who lived the reviews. the opposite is that of the writer as retired university professor on reflection over part a century and perplexing out what these reports intended for himself, for the USA, and for humankind.
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Extra info for Binding Up the Wounds: An American Soldier in Occupied Germany 1945-1946
I was surprised that they spent more time conversing among themselves than with me. For most of them, this was the first time they had felt free to talk about those days. Immediately after the war they wanted to forget the trauma. Later, their children were ashamed of the Hitler times and didn't want to hear about the excitement that Hitler had generated among German youth. In my apartment, sitting with others who had grown up in the well-crafted Hitler Youth program, these people were free to laugh, giggle, and joke about the old days.
Some GIs collected watches taken from prisoners, which seemed strange to me because there wasn't a good market for surplus watches. Top hats and gold-headed walking canes were hot items. One boy had a four-foot nude sculpture. Because the Nazis had glorified the strong Aryan body, there were a lot of nude paintings and sculptures, male as well as femalealthough the males weren't choice collection material. Solingen was known for its fine steel and had made all of the German military swords and knives.
Three months later I was wounded during an attack and spent a month in the hospital. I rejoined the company one day after it had taken 75 percent casualties while fighting in the small German town of Nennig. I lasted three days in the bitter cold before being evacuated with frozen feet and pneumonia. The war ended in May while I was on a boxcar, headed back into combat for the third time, hoping I could get another lucky wound. Page 4 Combat was a little like rolling dice with your life at stake.
Binding Up the Wounds: An American Soldier in Occupied Germany 1945-1946 by Leon C. Standifer