Author(s): Eugen Tannenbaum
A limited edition hardcover book and two audio CDs of war letters from the Jewish people who fought for Germany and Austria, read by the authorIn the mud and bloody filth of the trenches, and in the bullet-saturated air above the Eastern and Western fronts, Jewish soldiers and airmen went to fight for their country. They did so pushing against a wave of discrimination from the country they were born into, and whose cause they were absolutely convinced was just. 120,000 of them would die on the front lines for their country. Available in English for the first time, we read the heart-warming, moving, and intensely personal letters that the young soldiers wrote home from the battlefield. The uniquely Jewish viewpoint they express, and the strong traditional elements in their religion, bring the conflict between the inhumane war and religious belief into sharp contrast. The young mens' attempts to adhere to their faith and rituals during the violent horror of trench warfare are touching, and often tinged with self-deprecating humor. The immense pain, the keenly-felt loss of comrades, and a yearning for home and loved ones shine through the soldiers' words One great leitmotif runs through the letters: the hope for equality. It radiates from the words as strongly as the desire for peace, and an absolute belief in a German victory. The letters also highlight the firm conviction amongst the Jewish men that a new world was being forged by the war, and that Jews would be treated as equals within a new society. The war letters are a unique insight into life, battle and death on the enemy front lines, and the extraordinary Jewish experience in particular.
Michael A. O'Neill has written scripts for, produced, and narrated historical documentaries, which have been shown on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.