The battle for Stalingrad has been studied and recalled in exhaustive detail ever since the Red Army trapped the German 6th Army in the ruined city in 1942. But most of these accounts finish at the end of the battle, with columns of tens of thousands of German soldiers disappearing into Soviet captivity. Their fate is rarely described. That is why Adelbert Holl's harrowing and vivid memoir of his seven-year ordeal as a prisoner in the Soviet camps is such an important record as well as an absorbing story. As he moves from camp to camp across the Soviet Union, an unsparing inside view of the prison system and its population of ex-soldiers emerges. He describes the daily life in the camps - the crowding, the dirt, the cold, the ever-present threat of disease, the forced marches, the indifference or cruelty of the guards - in authentic detail. The Soviets treated German prisoners as slave labourers, working them exhaustively, in often appalling conditions. The prisoners could only struggled to survive, to support each other, and hope against hope to return home.
Adelbert Holl fought as an infantryman in the German 6th Army at Stalingrad during protracted battle for the city. He was taken prisoner when the Germans surrendered and spent the next seven years in Soviet prison camps. In 1950 he was repatriated to Germany. In two outstanding volumes of memoirs - Ais Infanterist in Stalingrad and Was Geschahnach Stalingrad? - he recorded his experiences as a soldier and a prisoner of war. During many years working in several senior official positions in Berlin - including spells as provost marshal and British governor of Spandau prison - Tony Le Tissier accumulated a vast knowledge of the Second World War on the Eastern Front. He has published a series of outstanding books on the subject including.