"Yes, life in Germany was good; young people had work and everybody was occupied and busy."

Born in 1924, the author recalls his idyllic childhood on a family farm in Germany. In his mid-teens, he was certified as a tool and die worker. Then, drafted into the military, he went to war at age 18. He was quickly deployed to the front where he fought continuously until, wounded, he was transferred to a field hospital. While recuperating, he met Paula with whom he immediately fell in love. The war took him to Italy and then to a prison camp in Egypt where his machining skills led to a bearable situation. Returning home after the war, he and Paula got married. However, post-war Germany was in chaos, so his father helped the couple to emigrate to Canada. From there he landed a good job with the Ford Motor Company in the US and settled into a cozy existence on a small, pleasant homestead.

Baier, now in his nineties, recalls these events with remarkable chronological accuracy. He candidly recounts that Hitler initially brought prosperity to Germany, but this was soon followed by rumors of war and a warning from a coworker not to speak flippantly about the Nazi regime. One can easily picture Baier as a young man enthusiastically accepting military life, uncomplaining, and proud of his abilities. Certain memories—being treated with kindness by a poor Russian farm family, spotting Russian soldiers hiding mute and still in a cornfield, bribing officials with cigarettes to get himself and a buddy on a hospital train—have a cinematic quality, even though they are presented in a plain, unembellished style.

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