There were many stifled sobs as men thought of their families at home.
General Strecker was clearly moved when he made a tour of front-line positions. A Christmas that shows the true brotherhood of soldiers.’ Visits by senior officers were also appreciated for their accompanying benefits.
A unit in 297th Infantry Division slaughtered a packhorse early so as to make ‘horse sausage’ as Christmas presents.
Advent crowns were fashioned from tawny steppe grass instead of evergreen, and little Christmas trees were carved out of wood in desperate attempts to make it ‘just like at home’.
He converted his bunker in the steppe north-west of Stalingrad into a studio and began to draw on the back of a captured Russian map – the only large piece of paper to be found.
I wish to find the person who will love me, to trust me and to give heat and tenderness. Lethargy from malnutrition combined with escapist daydreaming no doubt played a part, and probably so did the ‘Fortress’ mentality which Hitler helped to cultivate.But none of these entirely explain the almost obsessive emotional focus which the prospect of Christmas held for those trapped so far from home.The medical officer grabbed his first-aid bag and ran from the bunker to see to the casualties – one killed and three wounded.The dead man had been singing the Christmas carol ‘ The incident, not surprisingly, put an end to their celebrations.