• Adventures in My Youth

  • A German Soldier on the Eastern Front 1941-45
  • By: Armin Scheiderbauer
  • Narrated by: James A. Gillies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (685 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author could be described as a veteran in every sense of the word, even though he was only age 21 when the war ended. Armin Scheiderbauer served as an infantry officer with the 252nd Infantry Division, German army, and saw four years of bitter combat on the Eastern Front, being wounded six times.

This is an outstanding personal memoir, written with great thoughtfulness and honesty. Scheiderbauer joined his unit during the winter of 1941-42 and, during the following years, saw fierce combat in many of the largest battles on the Eastern Front. His experiences of the 1943-45 period are particularly noteworthy, including his recollections of the massive Soviet offensives of summer 1944 and January 1945. Participating in the bitter battles in East Prussia, he was captured by the Soviets and not released until 1947.

Adventures in My Youth is a unique memoir - the author originally wrote it only for his daughter. It has never been published in any language until now.

©2003 Helion and Company (P)2017 Tantor

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What listeners say about Adventures in My Youth

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Heartfelt, vivid and sober story

An absolute pleasure, quite eloquently written and performed. Other biographies can learn much from this one.

Compelling story of a pious youth brought up by war. Starkly vivid view of the life in and around the frontline, from the perspective of a junior infantry officer. Subject of crimes was directly dwelled upon at great length, perhaps by the nature of very active frontline career. My impression is that the author was honest throughout, especially considering the fact that this manuscript was not intended to be published.

17 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

Best ww2 autobiography I’ve listened to. And I’ve read/listened to a lot! Very recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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An excellent accout of a young man's experience

A well written story with expertly done narration. There are some disturbing accounts towards the later part of the story.

6 people found this helpful

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Different than other war time books ...

After reading a few WWII books, I can sincerely say that this is not a book on blood and gore. This story is more about the author’s overall war time experience from training to melee, injury to recuperation, and correspondence to loved ones back home. In that regard, the story can get quite tedious and repetitive at times. Yet, you still get to experience life in the Wehrmacht and its trials and tribulations through the war years.

It is remarkable that a young 17year old could live through a harrowing experience such as the brutal Eastern Front and yet survive to tell the story years later. Many friends mentioned within the book, including his brother, sadly do not make it to the end of the war. As with all German WWII books I have read, the horrors of the Nazi regime remain absent throughout the pages. Apart from the author’s father who falls foul of the religious edicts of the regime, there is very little else on the Nazi philosophy.

Still, I enjoyed the book. It is different than other WWII books I have read and still yields enormous information. Recommended for the history buff.

6 people found this helpful

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Story of an amnesic nazi soldier

It is always shocking to hear these German WWII soldiers, involved in the East of Europe where tens of million of people were murdered, mostly unarmed civilians, telling you their own story without mentioning any shameful or embarrassing memories. Not even a word about the extermination camps that these German soldiers were absolutely aware of. It is easy to say you did not know. Even in Nuremberg the big shots said they did not know and were not guilty. The most unbelievable part is that after being taken as a prisoner by the Soviet army, he complains about the quality of the food. It is a bit like someone came to your place raped and killed your children in front of you and then complains about how brutal the police was when they arrested him, and later complains about the food quality in jail.
However it is better than nothing to read this book, but it shows how the censure or self-censure was in post-war Germany, letting you wander about how many nazis were still running the place.

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

Base this review on your own expectations. I was hoping for a German perspective that along with the story, had references of how the author felt during is time in the war. What were they told about how the war was going. Why were they motivated to fight? What was the propaganda? What were the thoughts after the war? How did others feel about ‘losing’ the war.
The is more of a daily diary with little detail about battles he fought, objectives of the battles, the things he witnessed etc.

My context is “D-Day - Through German Eyes” which is a series of interviews conducted in 1955 and gave a lot of perspective on how they felt when fighting the allies and how they felt in 1955 ten years after the war.

4 people found this helpful

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World war 2 from a different view

It was really interesting to hear and learn from a different perspective. I was so used to reading books about the Holocaust that I never really stopped to think what it was like from the German soldier’s point of view. It was overall a great story - a little slow in some parts - but very good. I would recommend this to anybody who is interested in WW2.

4 people found this helpful

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Not many insights

This is a rather dry diary of a soldiers experience. No insights or emotions are presented, and perhaps the only one given is the complete lack of thought put into agreeing to go to the killing fields, and how few are willing to share the real horrors of human nature in their memoirs, actions one might regret, or feelings of which the writer would be ashamed.

4 people found this helpful

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Speed Reader

This is a great book. Howver, the narrator talked so fast that sentences ran together and I had difficulty keeping up and understanding the storyline. It was very diffiicult to follow without serious concentration.

3 people found this helpful

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Is it over yet?

So bad I kept checking to see how many hours were left in the book. Let’s just say that I did not care to have read to me the contents of every officer’s manual word for word. You can get the same results from someone reading the telephone book to you. Disappointed is putting mildly. Returned the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • phphoto
  • 12-09-17

A disjointed story.

It was a bit of a struggle to finish it as the storyline felt somewhat disjointed. There seemed to be a lot of editing going on here from the author. It did not feel like a warts and all revelation of the life of a soldier on the Eastern front. Rather it seemed like a very self censored and selectively sanitised recollection.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Girly
  • 03-16-18

very interesting listen but quite dry.

interesting listen but it was very much facts and events based. Not much about how he felt about the war.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aiden
  • 06-09-22

brutal account of the eastern front

some glitches here and there, and the last chapters are difficult to finish but overall a very visceral and brutal account of life on the Eastern Front for a German infantryman. The voice acting is superb, clear and easy to listen to throughout. highly recommended for anyone interested in personal accounts of wartime. Has similar vibes to Werner's u boat account and Blood Red Snow.

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  • Stephen Timms
  • 04-08-22

Towser T

This was the second of recent verbatim reports of ordinary soldiers fighting for the German Reich I have listens to on Audible. I suppose, given the atmosphere of growing up in the Thirties and the age of Herr Scheiderbauer when he joined up, he could be forgiven in calling it “Adventures in My Youth”.

For want of any corroborating evidence to the contrary, I took his narrative as honest and an attempt to let the reader see that the Second World War was for many Germans as awful as it was for the Allies.

Also, being a young man at the time, he seems very keen to mention, throughout his narrative, the many medals available and won by him. He was clearly looking for a natural progression through the ranks and conducting himself honourably.

It was his bad luck to represent one totalitarian state against another in the East.

There was no mention of Germany’s guilt in the War but his mention of fighting Bolshevism and how cruel the Russians could be. Seeing this was written many years after it all happened, I thought that there may had been some comment on his part in the destruction of many countries, deaths of many, many innocent people. However, it is interesting, well narrated and gives a further view on this period.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-08-22

Fantastically written & touching story telling

The way in which the detail of the writer and incredibly well documented places, names and personalities shine through is touching.
A refreshing view from the other side as it were, as the Axis perspective is rarely seen.
Very glad I found this & sad to finish it

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  • rarely review
  • 02-26-22

filled with detail

he remembers in great detail the battles and places from early to late war. and the sadness beautifully stated about returning home. it gave me a Gone With The Wind style epic sensation near the end.

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  • brummymackem
  • 01-18-22

long winded

would have been better with a german/ english accent. dont expect battle stories nil

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-22

Amazing Insight!

An amazing insight into the life of a young German officer serving on the eastern front. Very well narrated and the story of his service and being wounded 5 times and still carrying on. It just goes to show how this generation of youngsters on all sides were tougher than any that have followed since. Imaging being one of the two officers left in your entire battalion and still leading by example to save as many of your men as possible with many of them being just as young as this officer.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-24-21

Difficult to follow

Hard to follow constant stream of dates and short descriptions with some parts going in more detail than needed.

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  • Tommy
  • 10-23-21

wow

breath taking real life account of the war from the German perspective thank you

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  • John Shoemark
  • 11-28-18

Interesting if at times dry read

As an autobiography this is a fascinating account of an individual officer's service in the German army on the Eastern Front.
Although at times, particularly in the first half of the book, the author regurgitates some dry stats and large quotes from other books, his account of the last year of the war is particularly interesting.
Worth pushing past the dry bits.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-06-18

Interesting story

needs to translate German passages to English. part of what is good is lost because of confusion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 08-16-19

Excellent Soldier Poor Author

The Author was a fine soldier a gentleman who by the age of 24 had served 6 years in the German Army as a junior Officer, for the first half as a soldier on the Russian front for the second half as a P.O.W. Of the Soviets. The author writes in a clinical unemotional manner if you could imagine John Cleese from Monty Python sketch of the English Officer in battle with the Zulu clinical, reserved and gentlemanly the narrator delivered in the same manner. Yes a professional account but entertaining listening no, could send you to sleep.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-18

crap

what long boring load of hog wash .made me want to fall asleep it gave me depression

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen Zimmerman
  • 05-24-22

Truly Amazing Story

I want to read the rest of his story now. This was well written and there are many humbling things to consider when reading this account.

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  • A Preocanin
  • 03-27-22

A compelling story, well narrated.

I found the story and the narration made for a compelling listen. some other reviews have mentioned sections that have been copied from other books (e.g. regiment accounts) but I found these insightful in the way they provided more context.

Overall, the writing and perspective of Armin Scheiderbaur is a fascinating look into an 'ordinary' German soldier at the time. I would highly recommend.

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  • Mark Henwood
  • 03-25-22

Compelling account

The young soldiers account of his war experiences and captivity are related objectively and almost without emotion... The story held my interest throughout, and the reader was often excited by the content.

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  • Curtis McGrath
  • 02-09-22

I have nothing to complain about

A remarkable story from the eyes of the Germans on the eastern front. A great narration although a little fast paced at times. But an outrageously good read/listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-19

Eastern front combat solder.

Very interesting. It reflects the precarious life of a soldier under fire on the eastern front

.