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Contemporary Witness: A German World War II Veteran Remembers

| October 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

His childhood and young adult years were filled with propaganda and subtle threats to conform—preparing him for war.
By Jackie Guigui-Stolberg

My father-in-law “Peter,” Dr. Hans-Peter Stolberg, was born in 1927 and is now eighty-eight years old. Peter was lucky to survive World War II. Today we are fortunate that we can learn from what he tells us as a witness of that time in German history. Peter can speak for a generation of older Germans who are often referred to as the “Lost Generation.” Men like him were “lost” during the Third Reich because their youth was stolen from them. They grew up in a dictatorship. They were coerced into joining the Hitler Youth organization. They became actively involved in the war when they were hardly more than children. They were officially drafted when they were still in their mid-teens. Few are still alive to tell about their experiences. I am grateful that Peter has shared his personal stories with me. I visited him in his nursing home in southern Bavaria to interview him about his experiences during the Third Reich for German Life.

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