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Letters from the Front: The Real Enemy

January 27, 1945:

Today’s the day that I see the folly in my deeds. This entire time I’ve been blinded by a mask of ignorance. The countless lives I’ve put at risk, trying to please a man I’ve never met. Today I’ve seen hell. Today I’ve seen the fullest capabilities of man.

I arrived at the camp early in the morning. I stood in front of those gates; I could never be prepared for what lay behind them. As a soldier I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen mounds of dead people, some of which I shot. I’ve seen the looks of plea as I pulled the trigger. I’ve seen the scorched bodies of burned enemies; but never have I seen anything like this.

Bodies were stacked up to the sky. The pungent smell of rotting and burnt flesh was thick and invaded my nose. I could’ve never imagined that I would have seen this. He promised change. He promised a new Germany full of prosperity and opportunity. He promised us everything. But was it worth all this?

Those people had families. Yes, I’ve killed my fair share of families, but nothing like this. How could we as humans stand for this madness? How is it possible that no one spoke up? How is that you could kill millions and not give a care in the world?

Today I’ve seen the folly in my deeds. All this death and madness; it was all me. I stopped the “enemy.” I mowed them down and halted their advance. We rejoiced and cheered but what were we really cheering for? We were cheering for this pain and death. We were cheering for this most ungodly act. How can I live with myself? This entire time I thought I was the good guy; the guy fighting for the betterment of everyone. Oh how wrong I was. How ungodly and horrifically wrong I was.

I will surely be sent to the lowest catacombs of purgatory. How can God forgive me for this? How can God forgive any of us? We are the embodiment of Satan himself.

I gave my blood for this war? I gave up my sanity for this crime? God almighty punish me as I write these words. I’m not fit to live on this earth. People years from now will look down of this day. People will cast us as villains. They’ll label us as demons. If this is to be the case, God almighty have mercy on our posterity for they will forever be slandered. My hands are tainted with this blood; the blood of all those I’ve killed. 

On this day I’ve felt the worst kind of resentment. Today I’m the enemy, and the enemy I always was.