Growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Kurt Schultheiss was like the other kids in his neighborhood: rambunctious, inquisitive, and the center of his parents' world. With his blond hair and blue eyes, he was also the picture of Aryan purity, a poster child for the band of magnificent youngsters with which Adolf Hitler plotted to build his new world. As Hitler's power grew, he created the Hitler Youth, a breeding ground for the Nazi SS. As members of the Hitler Youth, Kurt and his friends enjoyed camping, weapons training...and complete indoctrination into the Nazi philosophy of world domination. Eventually Kurt became part of the infamous Einsatzgruppen, a group torious for atrocities committed against Jews and Russians at the German Eastern Front. In this captivating vel, an elderly Kurt looks back on his life and struggles to find atonement for the terrible sins of his youth, offering in the process his explanation for how youthful potential can go so terribly wrong.
Walter S. Zapotoczny Jr. holds a bachelor's degree in world military history and a master's degree in global history. He is a former command historian with the U.S. Army's 28th Infantry Division and works today as a contributor to a variety of magazines and on-line publications. Accompanied by his wife, Bonnie, he has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, and North Africa, and has visited World War I and World War II battefields of Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and France.