Bert Trautmann, the iron goalkeeper

Surroundings of Dnipropetrovsk, winter 1941. The cold silence of the white winter is broken by the cannon fire of tanks, machine guns, the detonations of grenades. The frozen corpses of Wehrmacht soldiers There are more and more, much more than the Reich High Command had expected. To warm up, gain courage and remember why they are in these desolate lands thousands of miles from home, the troops sing a stern and terrible song, a harbinger of death and destruction. They sing the “Devil’s song‘, the devil’s song.

Who we are is always moving forward,

And the devil just laughs at it!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

We fight for Germany,

We fight for Hitler,

The red one will never rest again.


Wherever we go, always forward,

And the devil laughs with us!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

We fight for Germany

We fight for Hitler

Red never rests again.

Among them moles Paratroopersthe paratroopers of the unfortunately well-known 35th Infantry Division, there is a brave 18-year-old non-commissioned officer, Bernhard Carl Trautmann. He also shoots, and who knows whether in moments of fear he thinks back to his childhood in Bremen, when he watched football games with his father, who as a child outperformed his peers in all sports, whether we talked about swimming, athletics, handball , Football. He was even presented with a certificate sporting excellence by Chancellor von Hindenburg. At the age of 9 he started school of his own free will Young peoplethe preparatory branch of the Hitler Youth.

For this child, son of Bremen’s working class, the camaraderie with his peers, all this sport, the outdoor life and scouting seem too good. At 15, he was second in the Reich in the long jump, the 60 meters and, incredibly, in the grenade throw. And when the moment of the final decision comes at the age of 17, the desire to serve at the front is self-evident, so much so that he expressly asks to be transferred to the front because he is not interested in the job as a radio operator is happy in quiet Poland. It’s like his bodybefore his mind, claimed the risk, the effort, the pain. He is the perfect Nazi soldier and is proud to risk his life alongside his comrades to prolong the war habitat of the empire. Still, something burrows inside.

The article Bert Trautmann, the iron goalkeeper comes from Rivista Contrasti.

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