Known to his friends and family as Fritz, FRIEDRICH GOTTFRIED SAUER was born on 22 December 1923, in Bassenheim near Coblenz in the Rhineland, to farmer and potato dealer Josef Sauer and his wife Antoinette. He was just eighteen when he was first conscripted by the German authorities in the winter of 1940-41. Initially joining the ranks of the Reich Labour Service, he was soon transferred to the Heer, the German Army, and posted to an infantry unit which formed part of Army Group North on the Eastern Front. Despite being terribly wounded, Fritz survived the war.
Based on his father's recollections, In the Hell of the Eastern Front – an account of his wartime experiences – was written by his son, Arno Sauer.