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Remembered Today:

Storm of Steel


andigger

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There was a good review of Ernst Junger's book in today's Book section in the Washington Post. Of course, there have been lots of reviews and its certainly not a new book, but I am glad to see its still getting prime recognition in major newspapers.

The link below is to the article.....

Andy

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2004Jul15.html

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What is not generally recogninsed is that reading COPSE 125 (Junger's other book) in conjunction with a trench visit is amazing.

In one place he desc ribes a British trench raid and how they counterattacked. he gives a detailed description of the trnehces (length of concrete firing step et al).

I take groups to the Bois le Pretre fairly regularly and always read out this paragraph whilst in the German front line there as he describes it exactly (even though he was actually writing about Rossignol Wood).

Strangely, when we go to the trenches where Junger would have been in the Regnieville sector (just around the corner so to pseak, from Bois le Pretre), the german trecnhes are not the same at all! I have to admit that what remains is actually ther German third and fourth line trenches.

I have yet to find the German front line in that area. The tangle of forest has to be seen to be believed. In fact, I suspect that today it will be unrecognisable.

But it's interesting to see how the front line trench design was standard the whole length of the front.

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

Ernst Jünger indeed has a very accurate and harrowing account of life on the Western Front through any view of the ordinary man or "soldier" as many would state. His book is truly recognized as an anti-war account of the World War and explains the humanity of each man that participated in the war. A must read, indeed.

-Doughboy

post-22-1090275157.gif

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David Filsell

I am simply amazed that anyone could describe Junger, or his writing, as anti-war.

By his own admission the man gloried in war, its purgatrive effect upon man and nations. An amazing man certainly but anti-war in his writing?

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I am simply amazed that anyone could describe Junger, or his writing, as anti-war.

By his own admission the man gloried in war, its purgatrive effect upon man and nations. An amazing man certainly but anti-war in his writing?

I have to agree. have just finished reading "Storm of Steel".

I didn't detect any anti-war message in it. The accounts are harrowing, but he is incredibly matter of fact in his narrative - maybe the horror of what he experienced aroused your own anti-war feelings Doughboy, but I don't think that was Junger's intention in writing the book?

Tim

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I have the same opinion as David & Tim, just is not anti-war book, sure is a good one, have read it several times but not new translation.

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I consider all literature that describes the bare horror of war in bloody detail "Anti-War"

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Guest AmericanDoughboy
I consider all literature that describes the bare horror of war in bloody detail "Anti-War"

Yes, an Anti-War book is not considered anti-war simply because the author claims it is, it is the basis of what he or she explains in a certain way. I am sure, however, that when writing such a heart wrenching memoir was that his focus was the horrors of war, which would affect others by hoping for peace.

-Doughboy

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David Filsell

In the context of the suggestion that Junger's book is anti-war consider his own words; war was "an incomparable schooling for the heart"

All Quiet on the Western Front was anti-war - and thus amongst the books burnt by the Nazis in 1930 and the book was banned - Remarque moving to Switzerland. The book was considered a slur on the German military and thus anti-German (as was Ludwig Renn's War and a number of others)

By comparison. Junger was feted by the Nazis during the party's early years. Junger was a member of the editorial board of the Stalhelm - extremely patriotic and wedded to the stab in the back myth - and was asked by Hitler to stand for the Reichstag. The book was never seen in Germany as anti-war quite the reverse. Junger deliberately removed himself from involvement with the Nazi party however.

The outstanding German academic and author W G Seebald described Junger as a writer "who had emerged from the Hitler era, which he had helped usher in, as a distinguished isolationist and defender of humanistic values". Others have called him a `proto-nazi' and 'proto fascist'.

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Until Ernst Juengers death at age 101 many people discredit him in many ways and facettes. I stay with what was stated before: I read all of Ernst Juengers WW1 editions

  • In Stahlgewittern
  • Das Waeldchen 125
  • Feuer und Blut
  • Kriegsausbruch 1914
for me describing the horror so vividly is Anti-War
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Until Ernst Juengers death at age 101 many people discredit him in many ways and facettes. I stay with what was stated before: I read all of Ernst Juengers WW1 editions
  • In Stahlgewittern
  • Das Waeldchen 125
  • Feuer und Blut
  • Kriegsausbruch 1914
for me describing the horror so vividly is Anti-War

But Egbert that's your interpretation, Junger's intent does not seem to have been to create an aversion ot war as was Remarque's.

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Especially in the case of Ernst Juenger the critics are divided. Indeed it depends on the pair of glasses with whom you read his books. Even the experts are debating; 50% say anti-war the other 50 % say glorification of war. Ernst Juenger admitted he joined the war machinery as an adventurer. Being in the midst of war he changed his attitude. Most critics admit he turned anti-war. Don't forget that most of his WW1 books are diaries. His books after WW1 and his behavior in WW2 that ultimately resulted in total opposition of Nazism and glorification of war should convince the last Junger critic. And let's not forget that he received the highest merit in post (WW2) war/ pacifist Germany the Bundesverdienstkreuz. He was even more respected and honored by the French government and population due to his anti-war position and was several times asked for commemoration events in Verdun. If he would be recognized as somebody who glorifies war - the officials would have ousted him.

Ernst Juenger was a great writer and with my pair of glasses he was a superb warrior that does not prevent him from being a great opponent of war.

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Egbert I agree with all you say about his later life and attitudes but don't agree he was anit war in purpose when publishing Storm of Steel and Copse 125. I was unaware til I read your post that some critics consider him antiwar, meaning the book of course. The last paragraph seems to me quite close to a threat of another war. The book is not in front of me, perhaps I should have said last bit.

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David Filsell

I still cleave to Seebald's view of the man and his writing and I would very much like to know your reference for 50/50 anti/pro war. Whilst only Storm of Steel and Copse 125 are available in English, and whilst To the Marble Cliff, is now considered anti nazi, this does not reconcile with the fact that in pre WWII Germany S of S was virtually required reading by German youth. As I have pointed out Hitler et al were not precisely in favour of anti-war literature. Virtually all writers who could be claimed as anti-war were banned. Quite apart fromt from Remarque and Renn, what about Plivier, Glaeser, Roth, Graff and Werfel.

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Guest woodyudet

The latest translation is somewhat dodgy - the translator may understand German, but he doesn't know much about militaria - RFC markings are described as "rosettes" rather than roundels etc. having read 2 translations, the translator has used the 'toned' down later versions for the basis of this translation. As a result the killing of his capturers is omitted in this version, but was in the 1926 translation ...

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