Wolfgang Borchert was born in Germany in 1921 and died in Basel, Switzerland in 1947. His life effectively paralleled the rise to power of the Nazi regime of the Third Reich in Germany. Borchert wrote directly and indirectly of his experiences during this twelve year time capsule of German history, foremost as a sensitive poet, but also as a soldier drafted into the German army. Borchert's life and work offer a chronicle of and protest to German life under this totalitarian rule. He describes his society as a prison and his experiences in prison as a self-contained social entity. He poignantly portrays the fear and anger felt by German soldiers as they simultaneously combat not only the enemy but also their natural surroundings of earth and snow. A chronicle of Germany's dictatorship and post-war collapse, Borchert's existentially universal themes of confinement, alienation, psychological and physical trauma transcend the events of mid-20th century Germany. The author's almost generic descriptions (never does he mention Germany or Nazism in his writings) find echoes in the events currently appearing almost daily in the news reports of humans' inhumanity to each other.