Edward Henrik Herzbaum
Excerpt from page 6. The German invasion of Poland early September 1939, involving
the Polish auxiliary forces.
I don't know who spotted them first and gave the alarm, but the German patrol was still
quite far away when we decided to look for a better place to hide. Lying next to me was
the Silesian man. What should we do next? I could see that the Silesian had carefully
moved his rifle forward, adjusted his stance and looked into his view-finder. From behind
us someone was whispering piercingly 'Don't shoot, don't shoot, son of a bitch.' And
someone else was repeating 'No don't, it wouldn't make sense, don't shoot, they might not
have noticed us.' But they kept heading straight for us. There were five of them. Their
green uniforms were clearly visible against the dark trees and the sunshine reflected off
their helmets and guns. The first one had a hand gun; the others had short thick-barrelled
guns. Their commander had binoculars and a map carrier. They continued gingerly,
looking around, talking. They stopped. I don't know why, but I was curious to see what they
would look like through my view finder. Very clear, large, immobile. Someone was
whispering again, fearfully, 'Jesus,' and another one repeated, 'Please don't shoot boys.' I
was enraged and furious. 'So what do you want to do you sons of...? Do you want to wait
until they drag us out by the ears?' These were supposed to be soldiers? But maybe they
were right and we should wait, but at that moment I heard the hard, dry bang of the rifle
next to me and I saw the commander twist down, first to his knees and then to the ground. I
looked at the Silesian. He had already reloaded and was aiming again, coldly, carefully,
almost with love.
|LOST BETWEEN WORLDS
Herzbaum is a natural writer. He sees with
clarity and passion and feels that need that
real writers feel to communicate with an
audience. He has his readers by the lapels
and won't let us go till he has told his tale.
He describes Soviets torturing him with a lit
cigarette (pages 26-7) with the same
immediacy that he describes the beauty of
a Central Asian evening (119). I came away
not only loving this book, but loving its
I am intrigued by this book and judging from
the excerpt, and the reviews I have read, I can't
wait to read it.
Edward’s description of the front and action
around the Monte Cassino sector where his
animated description of surviving artillery
fire and the destruction a barrage can inflict
is some of the best narrative in print and
recommend anyone interested in the Italian
campaign to read this book.
|A terrifying, tragic, beautiful, personal and
painfully fleeting glimpse into a life.
Guy (on Amazon)
|P O L I S H
G R E A T N E S S