A Soldier of the Reich: An Autobiography

Author(s): Günter Horst Beetz

ISBN: 9781781556849
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The story of a courageous German soldier on the Western Front during the Second World War.
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  • Superbly illustrated from the author’s own private collection of photographs
  • Tells the truth and grim realities of fighting a numerically superior enemy in Normandy as well as life in America after the end of hostilities
  • An ordinary soldier’s personal perspective on the hardships and realities of army life, training and active operations 

A Soldier of the Reich: An Autobiography documents one man’s life in Nazi Germany. This fascinating book examines what it was like to grow up alongside the rise of fascism, exploring the consequences it had on Günter Horst Beetz’s life, including what this meant for his relationship with his Jewish girlfriend, Ruth.

Beetz also relates his time as a soldier fighting in Normandy, commenting on the ethics of war before spending two years as a prisoner of war in America, unaware of the fate of his family.

After the end of his imprisonment, he ended up in England where he remains to this day. Including previously unpublished images from the author’s personal collection, this first-hand account explores a perspective rarely acknowledged in discussions of the Second World War: that of an ordinary Nazi soldier, detailing the beliefs and motivations that shaped him as a person.


BOOK ISBN 9781781556849
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING hardback
PAGES 208 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 29 November 2018
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 30 black-and-white photographs






Günter Horst Beetz was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1926. Growing up as part of a typical family – his father was a banker and his mother a housewife – he joined the Hitler Youth and ultimately found himself in Normandy fighting the Allies during the final years of the Second World War.