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Luis Raffeiner grew up in Karthaus in the South Tyrolean Schnalstal. In 1939, aged 22, after serving in the Italian army, he transferred to the Wehrmacht. As a tank mechanic in a unit of assault guns, he went to war against the Soviet Union in 1941. He was captured by the Red Army, survived being held as a prisoner of war in the Caucasus and, in 1947, returned to the Tyrol. He then worked as a master plumber at a brewery and set up his own company. Late in his life he recorded his wartime experiences which were published in German and are now available for the first time in English in this edition.


Afterword by Hannes Heer, a distinguished German historian best known for his work on the controversial Wehrmacht exhibition in the 1990s. Although some of its exhibits were criticized at the time, it showed that the German army on the Eastern Front was involved in war crimes. In 2001 the revised exhibition was relaunched with the title ‘Crimes of the German Wehrmacht: Dimensions of a War of Annihilation 1941-1944’.