In the last weeks of the war, you were wounded in a battle near Cottbus. Apparently your unit was under orders to rescue Adolf Hitler from the bunker in Berlin, in order to let him complete his self-appointed mission to exterminate the European Jews. As it turned out, Hitler preferred to die by his own hand in Berlin.
At the time, did you regret your failure to rescue the Führer to whom you had solemnly sworn allegiance? You, once considered the greatest postwar German writer, nearly died trying to save Hitler!
Unlike most of your comrades, you survived. Even after his death, you and your comrades were to continue the war as terrorist "werewolves". But you were hospitalised and managed to surrender to the Americans. You spent a year in a prisoner-of-war camp — far less than many of your comrades. After your release, you were able to reinvent yourself.
Thereafter you kept silent about your part in the greatest crime in history for more than 60 years. You kept silent about your past when other intellectuals were discredited for membership in the same Waffen SS.
You kept silent about your past when debates raged about whether Germans were collectively guilty, about whether the Nazi genocide was unique, about the appropriate way to commemorate the war and the Holocaust.
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