Get Your Free Audiobook

Fur Volk and Fuhrer

The Memoir of a Veteran of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
Narrated by: James Foster
Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.76

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Like many Germans, Berlin schoolboy Erwin Bartmann fell under the spell of the Zeitgeist cultivated by the Nazis. Convinced he was growing up in the best country in the world, he dreamt of joining the Leibstandarte, Hitler's elite Waffen SS unit. Tall, blond, blue-eyed, and just 17-years-old, Erwin fulfilled his dream on Mayday 1941, when he gave up his apprenticeship at the Glaser bakery in Memeler Strasse and walked into the Lichterfelde barracks in Berlin as a raw, volunteer recruit.

On arrival at the Eastern Front in late summer 1941, Erwin was assigned to a frontline communications squad and soon discovered that survival was a matter of luck - or the protection of a guardian angel. Good fortune finally deserted Erwin on 11 July 1943 when shrapnel sizzled through his lung during the epic Battle of Kursk-Prokhorovka. Following a period of recovery, and promotion to Unterscharführer, Erwin took up a post as machine-gun instructor with the Ausbildung und Ersatz Bataillon.

From the war on the southern sector of the Eastern Front to a bomb-shattered Berlin populated largely by old men and demoralized lonely women, this candid eyewitness account offers a unique and sometimes surprising perspective on the life of a young Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler volunteer.

©2013 Estate of Erwin Bartmann/Derik Hammond (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This is a valuable memoir, providing both a good account of the nature of the fighting in the East, and the changing attitudes of the author, both towards the Nazi regime and the chances of final victory." ( History of War)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent book

An honest and reliable portrayal of life in the waffen-ss. I enjoyed it a great deal.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dubious levels of detail

The level of detail in this memoir is extraordinary - and therein lays the problem. German soldiers were not allowed to keep a diary, so the author's vivid descriptions of locations, foliage, and in depth conversations serve only to make the listener doubt the accuracy of the depicted events. Excellent narration though.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel S Seely
  • Daniel S Seely
  • 06-08-2017

Wow what a ride

These guys had a life not many will experience. Hell on the eastern front with sex strewn about. No doubt there are many men now forgotten whose stories we would die for.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rhonda
  • Rhonda
  • 07-04-2018

The Ost Front

Where does Fur Volk and Fuhrer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Close to the top in books about the Second World War.The best and most honest book about the Russian Front.

What other book might you compare Fur Volk and Fuhrer to and why?

It is the best book on the Russian front I've seen .The Forgotten Solider is another good book about the Russian.

Have you listened to any of James Foster’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the best of his books I have listened to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The honesty of this book .

Any additional comments?

For those who like personal accounts of the common solider this a book for you

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Krista
  • Krista
  • 22-07-2019

A moving, detailed memoir of an honorable man.

This book is a definite gem for any who have interest in ther topic.

Highly detailed in his recollections of what happened, it gives one a great sense of what it was like serving as a Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, from the beginning phase of recruitment to being captured.

There is little information about that which the author was not aware - which makes it all the more believable and enchanting.

Thank you Herr Bartmann.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter Cranley
  • Peter Cranley
  • 27-07-2017

Incredible Biography

What did you love best about Fur Volk and Fuhrer?

Totally absorbing - did not want to turn it off. Cant believe the author is 88 years old.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeffrey
  • Jeffrey
  • 19-07-2017

Sehr gut.

Slightly naive, but honest. The end of the war chapters were the best. It is worth a read.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nick H.
  • Nick H.
  • 10-06-2017

Insight into Waffen SS

Interesting autobiographical look into the life of a loyal Waffen SS soldier who fought to the end of the war in the Liebstandarte. Gives a unique look from the perspective of a soldier uninvolved in anything around the einsatzgruppen or murder squads. The majority of the Waffen SS were men who just wanted to be a part of Germany's elite fighting formations. This book tells the story of one of those men and I absolutely inhaled it. Great listen, check it out.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doggie
  • Doggie
  • 14-09-2019

Great WWII STORY

I did like this WWII story about HITLER and the German. People because it helps us understand how the German leaders related to the German people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 19-07-2019

a must read

this is a must read book. tells the story from other side of the coin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • 09-07-2019

This book is excellent!! A must read for any WWII/ history buff!

In this book he goes into detail everything he went through from before he became a soldier in the Leibensdarte, to the gruesome details he witnessed first-hand on the battlefield! He holds nothing back as he describes everything he saw and went through. Everything you can possibly want out of a history book is here! Highly recommended! Definitely one of my favs!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeremy
  • Jeremy
  • 04-07-2019

Amazing

This was an amazing memoir of someone who had voluntarily joined the Waffen-SS over originally being placed in a Flak unit. It details his life from being a young kid and seeing SA members marching in the streets to him being a captive in a allied POW camp which was difficult as well seeing by the end of the war, being in the SS could have meant death in the POW camps by your fellow Germans. I was definitely not disappointed with this at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for caulms@excite.co.uk
  • caulms@excite.co.uk
  • 04-09-2017

Terrible choice of narrator

This book gives an interesting viewpoint to the war in Russia however the narrators american accent and terrible american pronunciations have ruined this as an audio book

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jamie Cowan
  • Jamie Cowan
  • 11-04-2018

Very very good! *review may contain spoilers*

This is a very enjoyable book, however, though the performance is good enough, it keeps to the same tone from start to finish so it can feel a bit monotonous after lengthy listening times.

I've been looking into a lot of memoirs from the German perspective of WW2 and to find one from an SS soldier, I jumped to it!

The book follows his life from a young age to joining the SS, to his "retirement". (trying to avoid spoilers)
Erwin goes into a good deal of detail with his stories on the Eastern front, though there are surprisingly few regarding what we know the SS were well known for on the Eastern front, whether they are deliberately left out or he genuinely never taken part, I doubt I'll ever find out.

History is history, and everyone has their perception of it, so please try not to view this book as Nazi propaganda as some seem to view German memoirs.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for NEIL B.
  • NEIL B.
  • 05-06-2019

exellant book

a fascinating view from a different perspective of a German soldier ,very good ! well worth a listen .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-04-2019

Flowing, interesting personal detail

very listenable. moves at pace through the entire length of the war, with interesting details, insights and observations along the way

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for linda miller
  • linda miller
  • 09-07-2018

The Other Side

Every event has two tales to tell. We know our side but to hear the other side you forget that it’s some mothers son and she worries like our mothers did. The things they did and then the way they suffered brings this home by Arvins tale. A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mustang
  • Mustang
  • 23-05-2018

Great Story!

Told from the other side. A soldier of the Waffen SS. A change from the typical heroic stories of the allies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura
  • Laura
  • 24-04-2017

Excellent first hand account of the life of a member of the SS

I must say I thought this book to be excellent and gripping to say the least .
Had me picturing actual events as he actually lived them ....
Well done to all involved in this books publishing.....
Regards,
JJ Y

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Hamilton-welsh
  • C. Hamilton-welsh
  • 09-09-2017

really well written and read.

interesting and compelling perspective of an elite young German soldier. so much detail, very vivid. highly recommended

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen
  • Stephen
  • 14-07-2017

a brilliant accout

could not stop listening it was a very good account of what it must have been like for Mr Bartman. Thanks

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim JAMES
  • Jim JAMES
  • 07-05-2017

Captivating

This was my first foray with an audio book. I enjoy seeing the Second World War from the German perspective. The content and delivery was excellent. I would recommend this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful