“My dear parents. It’s New Year’s Eve. I am thinking of home and my heart is breaking. Here everything is terrible and hopeless. Hunger, hunger, hunger, lice and dirt. Soviet planes are bombing us day and night, and the artillery fire hardly ever ceases. If there is not a miracle very soon I shall die here.
Sometimes I pray; sometimes I curse my fate. Everything just seems so pointless and absurd. When and how could we be saved from this? How can a man bear this? Is this suffering a punishment from God?
My dear parents, I should not be writing you this, but I have long since lost all my courage. I have forgotten how to laugh. I am just a shivering bundle of nerves. Everybody lives here as if they are in a trance. If I get put up before a military tribunal and shot for writing this letter, then that will be a release from suffering.
Here we have learned the full meaning of God’s word: give us this day our daily bread. I am getting 100 grams of bread a day – almost one slice. You cannot possibly imagine how that feels here, when the temperature is minus thirty-five.
I have no hope left. I ask you not to cry if you get a letter saying that I have died. Be kind to each other and thank God for every day that he gives you.”
-Corporal Bruno Kaligo – German 6th Army, Stalingrad 1943
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.