Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Munich, February 22, 2006
A day trip to Munich from City Airport.  Got there OK and then took a train to the centre of the city and from there a cab to Helmut Ortschiedt’s flat.  He was different from the three I’d seen the previous week.  He had seen action in North Africa but after being wounded had returned to Germany and had become disillusioned.  He admitted the fact that his father – an officer on the Eastern Front – had been killed had played its part, but after recovering from his wounds, he had retrained as a medic and it was in that role that he had been posted to Italy.  He told me he knew the war was lost the moment North Africa was lost and had spent most of the Italian campaign in a state of near-perpetual gloom.  Despite this, he was actually rather good humoured and an obviously cultured and worldly sort of fellow.  He had some good photographs, too.  A long way to go, but worth it.


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