Dieter Finzen's Blog - now in English. (and French)

A wonderful complement to Harry's blog is Dieter Finzen's diaries. Dieter is, as close as we are likely to get, to an equivalent of Harry on the German side.

The diaries are published in real time using the same "time-shift" process as with Harry's letters only with a shift of 93 years so that in "Dieter time" we are now approaching the end of 0ctober 1916.

Dieter finished his basic training and traveled to France, arriving in the combat zone, opposite the British lines on the Somme, in September 1916.

The Battle of the Somme initiating the “big push”, commenced, disastrously for the allies, on July 1st, and is reaching its final throes as Dieter arrives. Despite heavy losses on the ground, British aircraft retain air superiority and are frequently seen overhead.

Dieter is not yet involved in the fighting, and is going through some gruelling training of a kind instantly recognisable to anyone who has seen the film of Erich Maria Remarque's Im Westen nichts Neues / All quiet on the Western Front.

I'm sure that many of Harry's fans, may have been disappointed to find Dieter's diary only in German. Now that Roger O'Keeffe (Long time Harry supporter) has undertaken to provide a translation to both English and French, you might be interested in taking up Dieter's story and seeing what life was like on the other side. Sven Janke, the author, has supplied some very informative links, including one on 8 October to an excellent BBC animation that shows the the course of the Western front throughout the war on a map.

Maybe Roger could use his spare time to translate Harry's blog into German. (Only joking - well done Roger for this work)

Link to Dieter's Diaries


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this English link to Dieter's diary. As you noted, I had gone to look at it when it was posted earlier and as I can not read German, was disappointed I could not 'see' the other side of the line.

I'm sure it will be very informative. My step-father was in the 101st Airborne in WWII and found that the 'word' about what 'The other side' would do if you or women and children were captured were generally false or very exaggerated on BOTH sides.

Dieter Finzen said...

thank you for the well done post about the blog.

Inspired by your remarks about "All quiet on the Western Front" I have posted a small extract of the film showing what it´s like to be in a recruitment camp.