By Leon C. Standifer
In his hugely acclaimed Not in Vain, Leon C. Standifer stated his reviews as a small-town Mississippi boy who at age nineteen came across himself battling as a strive against infantryman in international struggle II France and Germany. Binding up the Wounds incorporates the tale past V-E Day to explain what the writer observed, heard, felt, and realized as a member of the yankee career military within the place of origin of its defeated enemy.
Standifer, who served within the 94th Infantry department in western Germany, the Sudetenland, and Bavaria within the first yr of career, chronicles that specific and chaotic time from the point of view of a standard GI. Germany used to be an epic panorama of human want, and towns lay in ruins. however the warfare used to be over, mild and laughter have been once more attainable, and, as Standifer remembers, "we had a ball in the course of that first year." one of the issues he skilled or witnessed have been black-market operations huge and small (American cigarettes served as a common foreign money, and some oz of mess-hall grease or used espresso grounds have been priceless commodities); the spectacle of gung-ho officials trying to flip wrestle troops into spit-and-polish paraders; the exploitive video games performed among American infantrymen and German ladies; a gut-wrenching stopover at to a displaced folks camp; and the problems inquisitive about guarding captured infantrymen who have been now not the enemy.
Perhaps so much revealing, and infrequently magnificent, are the attitudes Standifer stumbled on between traditional Germans towards the struggle, the Nazis, the "Hitler occasions" in general-not purely in the course of the profession, but in addition a long time later whilst he revisited Germany and spoke with aged survivors of these occasions. For there are quite voices telling the story of Binding Up the Wounds. One is that of the combat-hardened yet differently naive twenty-year-old who lived the studies. the opposite is that of the writer as retired university professor on reflection over part a century and perplexing out what these stories intended for himself, for the United States, and for humankind.
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Additional resources for Binding Up the Wounds: An American Soldier in Occupied Germany 1945-1946
Supply Sergeant Haney issued me the Combat Badge, a combat jacket, and new combat boots. I also got a can of dubbing and some shoe polish. I gave the new boots a liberal application of dubbing, squirted on some lighter fluid, and set the mess on fire. This procedure was necessary because combat boots were made with the rough side of the leather facing out. As combat boots, there was no need for them to be polished, but I wanted dress boots. After the fire went out, I rubbed the soot off and put on a heavy layer of brown shoe polishbrown was the only color available.
Milky and Kevin had taken an interest in me when they found that I didn't smoke cigarettes. I smoked a pipe regularly, but that didn't count against our rations. Back during combat in Brittany, George Faber had suggested that I start smoking a pipe for relaxation when we returned from patrols. After each patrol we would sit under a tree and shake. George shook less than me because he would calm down with a cigarette. George didn't think I should smoke cigarettes because he was already smoking his ration and most of mine.
He would allow an hour for the women to gather their clothes but wouldn't let them take anything else. The soldiers would stay about a week and leave the house almost wrecked. " Then it would be quiet for a while, except for the creaking of rocking chairs, until somebody came up with a new thought. "Damnyankees, they were pretty good fighters but pure devils during Reconstruction. " Sooner or later, Mrs. " Nobody ever argued about that: the damnyankee soldiers were barbarians, but the War for Southern Independence had been a stupid mistake.