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Goodbye, Transylvania: A Romanian Waffen-SS Soldier in WWII (Stackpole Military History Series)

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Rare memoir of a foreigner serving with the Germans on the Eastern Front.


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Rare memoir of a foreigner serving with the Germans on the Eastern Front.

30 review for Goodbye, Transylvania: A Romanian Waffen-SS Soldier in WWII (Stackpole Military History Series)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Davis Pan

    A harrowing and engrossing tell-tale recapitulation of a young man's war and post-war experience. The author, Heinz Landau, takes us through the good, bad and mostly ugly aspect of his first hand experience fighting as a private and lieutenant in the German army in WW2. Right from the get-go Landau states his biases and asserts his position with respect to his identity as a minority (Transylvanian Saxon) in a land (Romania) that has witnessed too many disputes of land over the centuries. Landau A harrowing and engrossing tell-tale recapitulation of a young man's war and post-war experience. The author, Heinz Landau, takes us through the good, bad and mostly ugly aspect of his first hand experience fighting as a private and lieutenant in the German army in WW2. Right from the get-go Landau states his biases and asserts his position with respect to his identity as a minority (Transylvanian Saxon) in a land (Romania) that has witnessed too many disputes of land over the centuries. Landau uses the premise that as a suppressed minority in a newly found country of Romania he has developed a personalized rancor and even hatred for the majority Romanians that has fueled his enthusiasm to join the German army at the beginning of the war as a means to avoid conscription into the Romanian army. somehow t a world war will Transylvanian Saxon in and the tone of his adventure by asserting where Landau recounts the history of his place of birth, Transylvania, one of those

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bodea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Landau's story was good. I really liked it and reading this book reminded me of Sven Hassel's books. Altough Landau's story telling is missing all the humor which made Sven notorious, I don't really see that as a minus or a handicap. I'm not really sure if all the details of some episodes of the story are accurate, but if they are not, I think it would be pretty understandable why. There are moments when you are touched by the scene, such as when the German soldiers are giving their last food supp Landau's story was good. I really liked it and reading this book reminded me of Sven Hassel's books. Altough Landau's story telling is missing all the humor which made Sven notorious, I don't really see that as a minus or a handicap. I'm not really sure if all the details of some episodes of the story are accurate, but if they are not, I think it would be pretty understandable why. There are moments when you are touched by the scene, such as when the German soldiers are giving their last food supplies to the civilians or when Ferri dies in Heinz"s hands after writing that beautiful song. Still, the main issues with this book are the historical inaccuracies regarding Romania and I will explain the ones regarding the Germans in Romania: 1- one can not contest Landau's PERSONAL EXPERIENCES with the Romanians, but he extrapolated them to "universally applied characteristics", which is obviously wrong. 2- The Romanians were not a minority in Transylvania (see the Austro-Hungarian census from 1890, according to which there were over 2 591 000 Romanians in Hungary and over 2 100 000 Germans), but yes, in Brașov/Krönstadt the Germans formed the majority of the population at that time 3- Romanians and Gypsies are not the same people and Gypsies are a pretty closed community to this day (like the Saxons and the Schwabs were)- I wrote this as an answer to Landau's explanation given to Mr. Smith's observation about the population of Brașov. Ignoring the author's racism (which is plain and assumed) and his hatred for some nations, the story is an interesting one and once you get going, it's hard to put down. I recommend the book, but I advise people who are easily offended and moderately offended Romanians, Gypsies and probably Russians who to be cautious when reading it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wares

    I enjoyed this book. The author comes across as something of a character in telling his amazing personal story of his time in World War Two. I imagine him to be an old guy with a bit of a mischievous glint in his eye. Born in Kronstadt (Brasov) Transylvania as a German speaking Saxon he joined the German army and ended up fighting in Russia. I got the impression that he was comfortable in being both German and Hungarian in different respects; and definitely NOT Romanian. It is curious to read abo I enjoyed this book. The author comes across as something of a character in telling his amazing personal story of his time in World War Two. I imagine him to be an old guy with a bit of a mischievous glint in his eye. Born in Kronstadt (Brasov) Transylvania as a German speaking Saxon he joined the German army and ended up fighting in Russia. I got the impression that he was comfortable in being both German and Hungarian in different respects; and definitely NOT Romanian. It is curious to read about how he felt kinship with other Germans across Europe and fascinating learn about his travels back and forth across Europe, returning home on leave via Bucharest a few times and finding himself in Hungary, in Croatia, in Poland, in Berlin and in Austria at various times. The war was a far more nuanced story than I perhaps had imagined and in fact for many soldiers was made up of many personal chapters (battle,leave, convalescence, prisoner of war, refugee etc.). The fact he was a Transylvanian fighting for the Germans was an added uniqueness to his account. This book was interesting in a number of ways. It provides a human insight into the trials of war and describes not one but in fact a whole catalogue of harrowing war stories which it is amazing he survived. The fact that he is not ashamed to admit to hating his enemies at times and also to committing attrociities of his own (albeit with justifications) add to the authenticity of his account.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    + An extremely useful biography about a part of the world and a time that has very little documentation besides some reports made by academic paper pushers written from a remote capital. + It is fascinating to see how all ethnic groups in the area share the same fears and myths. Each group is talking about truckloads of violent peasants brought from the villages around by some conspiracy to kill a few individuals in the streets. Like demonic presence, the said peasants are of "evil" ethnic group + An extremely useful biography about a part of the world and a time that has very little documentation besides some reports made by academic paper pushers written from a remote capital. + It is fascinating to see how all ethnic groups in the area share the same fears and myths. Each group is talking about truckloads of violent peasants brought from the villages around by some conspiracy to kill a few individuals in the streets. Like demonic presence, the said peasants are of "evil" ethnic group, come out of nowhere, could decimate the ethnic group of the speaker and than disappear into thin air leaving no trace of money transfer, bus tickets, anything. + The whole text has valuable information like * although the US prides itself in hunting the Nazi, quite a few of his buddies moved there. Or in Canada, an equally pure at heart administration. * the mighty and well trained German army is just another governmental enterprise, Landau's temporary friend is one from the Krupp clan, and happens to be an officer, who will employ at will his younger buddy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Zamfirescu

    While a certain degree of subjectivity is expected the book gets at times biased and even derogatory and Nazism apology, racism and occasional SS atrocities are all present and "convenientely" excused. Literary value is low and what is very odd is how such a SS soldier, loyal to Hitler's cause since early 30s made it so easy in the West. While a certain degree of subjectivity is expected the book gets at times biased and even derogatory and Nazism apology, racism and occasional SS atrocities are all present and "convenientely" excused. Literary value is low and what is very odd is how such a SS soldier, loyal to Hitler's cause since early 30s made it so easy in the West.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ligiu Uiorean

    The author proved throughout the books that he has a very limited understanding of the world around him. He can never see the relation between actions and result (proudly states he was a member of a secret organisation planning sedition, pages later considers unfair that he is arrested by the state) and is borderline comical as he genuinely believes that the nazis are promoting him due to his wonderful activities, he just does not get it that he is simply a useful idiot that is assigned tasks th The author proved throughout the books that he has a very limited understanding of the world around him. He can never see the relation between actions and result (proudly states he was a member of a secret organisation planning sedition, pages later considers unfair that he is arrested by the state) and is borderline comical as he genuinely believes that the nazis are promoting him due to his wonderful activities, he just does not get it that he is simply a useful idiot that is assigned tasks that nobody wants to do (like spying on his comrades). That being said, the book is filled cover to cover wtih... revisionist statements: " the Romanians are the foreigners; they don't belong here. The Hungarians and Saxons, now minorities, are the rightful owners, or if you like, inhabitants." - page 6, talking about the present day Romania ... Nazi apologism: "Adolf may be a nutcase, but he is right in many things." - Page 105 "I thought what a pity that the world could not have seen and heard us as we really were." -- page 28, about being a nazi. ... Racism: "The area was now being built into one of the largest SS Truppenübungsplatz (training camp), labor being supplied by predominantly Jewish KZ (Konzentrazions- Lager— concentration camp) inmates. The only crime these unfortunate people ever committed was their accident of birth." -- page 25 "This discrimination was understandable as of all the Eastern European ethnic Germans, the Transylvanian Saxons were the only ones who were in every respect comparable with the Reichsdeutsche." -- page 99 "God, to think that the Western Powers had helped these apes to win the war." -- page 144, about the Russians .. And of course, the occasional atrocity, fully justified in the author's opinion: "Now and then we did, however, surprise large gatherings of partisans, and those of them who did not die fighting were either shot or, more often, hanged. The so- called free world made a lot of noise about these killings, but according to international law, which the Allies were very keen on bringing up when it suited them, these armed civilians were murderers to be hanged, at least as far as we were concerned." --page 32 "Next morning at the first opportunity, we untied their hands and sent them scampering across a large, apparently deserted square toward the Russians. Predictably, the Russians pounced like spiders in their webs and grabbed our two Commie sympathizers. Within a couple of minutes the only too- well- known tortured shrieks of agony told us the Russians lived up to our expectations." -- page 125 "We sent the Hungarians off, took possession of the Ivans, and marched them in small, terrified groups to the nearest site of Russian butchery where we shot each one through the head in blind reprisal." -- page 96 Besides this, the book has very little historical or literary value. The information is inaccurate, obviously embellished (the author has a thing about losing all his teeth, which he does at least 5 times through the book) and the writing stile is plain at best.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Ripple

    It was an excellent account of experience on the front (lines) during World War 2. It was very clear, and Mr. Landau wrote what he thought. After reading it, I felt like we had a connection, and that I HAD to meet him. Unfortunately, I couldn't. I'd recommend it to anyone who like World War 2, or history all in general. It brings you all throughout Eastern Europe. It was an excellent account of experience on the front (lines) during World War 2. It was very clear, and Mr. Landau wrote what he thought. After reading it, I felt like we had a connection, and that I HAD to meet him. Unfortunately, I couldn't. I'd recommend it to anyone who like World War 2, or history all in general. It brings you all throughout Eastern Europe.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brian Jones

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  10. 4 out of 5

    Davis Pan

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tay

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Murray

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Shannon

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patrick McGuire

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helen Andrews

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martin Bonfert

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Fitzke

  19. 5 out of 5

    Devon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Milan Mijuskovic

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Kingsnorth

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Bilodeau

  23. 5 out of 5

    toine harding

  24. 4 out of 5

    Markus Carlsson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike Cunha

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maria E. Mueller

  27. 5 out of 5

    Catherine M Kelly

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cris Radu

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hayden Makkay

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tom D

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