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Published Book or Work by:

Michael Eldredge

Shades of Gray: Memoirs of a Prussian Saint on the Eastern Front

Shades of Gray: Memoirs of a Prussian Saint on the Eastern Front
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Published by Mill Creek Press
August 2004
ISBN: 0-9740158-0-6
The gruff, off-key voice resonated deep within my soul as I sat quietly in our bunker. It was Christmas Eve, and as the year 1942 faded into history I wondered if it would prove to be my last. Our bunker sat atop a hill overlooking the Don River, which flowed in a southeasterly direction over the Russian steppes toward Stalingrad. On our right flank, a huge gap in the German Eastern Front lay open where the 3rd Romanian Army had once been entrenched. Just over a month earlier, the Red Army had blown through this weakest part of our lines and now encircled Stalingrad. My artillery group was one of many in the German 6th Army desperately trying to hold our position. Thus begins the remarkable story of Art Naujoks, and his battle to survive World War II as a soldier in the German Army. From the trenches of Stalingrad, to the hopelessness of the German Army in retreat, Art recounts with vivid detail what it was like to be a German soldier on the Eastern Front. Time after time he is tested; from frozen legs during the retreat at Stalingrad, to his head injury at the fierce battle on the Ukrainian Front, to freezing temperatures in the last retreat from Poland. Art managed to survive in spite of the incredible odds against him. All through the war, he turns to his steadfast faith to see him through seemingly impossible odds. As a Mormon, Art had grown up in hostile environment of jeers and laughter. Yet when the time came, he answered the call to duty. He, like his fellow members of the Aaronic Priesthood, faithfully responded when told to do so by the law of the land. Most paid with their lives, and only a few survived. Those who know the loyalty of every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will attest to the virtue of Mormons who answer the call of duty, whether they are German, American, Japanese, British, Italian or Russian. "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law," so goes the Twelfth Article of Faith. Mormons find themselves subject to the same temporal and spiritual laws. "Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth." Such it was for the victors of World War II, and the vanquished as well. No matter what the outcome, Mormons will always say, "we did our duty." And so it was for Art Naujoks in this extraordinary adventure.
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Autobiography , History , Military/War , Multicultural , Religion , Sociology
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