Hitler's Germany Paper #1 (1)

On the other hand the constant warfare bred junger

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On the other hand the constant warfare bred Junger into a perfect expression of the violence that surrounded him, for example, “The encounter will be short and murderous.. You are a world to yourself, saturated with the appalling aura of the savage landscape.” 8 Junger has filled the void with steel and fire. If his world is to be ruled by violence and pain then he will become a master in dealing both. So as Junger prepared for the Great Battle he truly hoped his mastery of both would be tested in open battle with his opponent, but before he could reach the battle he would find himself finally pushed beyond his limits. As his unit was making their way to the front of the line 6 Ibid, p. 140 7 Ibid, p. 160 8 Ibid, p. 71
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they suddenly found themselves struck directly by a shell, and as Junger describes it, “The rolling motion of the dark mass in the bottom of the smoking and glowing cauldron, like a hellish vision, for an instant tore open the extreme abysm of terror... Seeing that did for me. I threw myself to the ground, and sobbed hysterically, while my men stood grimly about” 9 After seeing men torn apart in more ways than I can imagine, and watching more comrades die than even he can remember, Ernst Junger finally breaks. In the entire memoir this is the only time he mentions crying like this. This is the first key event in Junger's growing disillusion towards the war. He has finally shown signs of cracking. Even after recovering from his fit Junger remains affected. He explains how he wandered like a sleepwalker through the battlefield, often firing his empty pistol ineffectually for several minutes. Perhaps Junger finally felt that last little part of him wither and die with that shell or maybe he simply snapped, but when he does reach the front there is nothing but the righteous expression of violence left. Standing there with his comrades Junger works himself into a level of unadulterated and frenzied violence. Junger expresses it as, “The overwhelming desire to kill lent wings to my stride. Rage squeezed bitter tears from my eyes. The immense desire to destroy that overhung the battlefield precipitated a red mist in our brains.” 10 No where before in the memoir does Junger surrender himself to such reckless bloodletting. He has succumb to a berserker rage, he knows only the obliteration of his enemies, all else has fallen by the wayside. Unfortunately, Junger would receive a grievous wound during the battle, and as he fell, thinking he would die, Junger found himself curiously at peace. Being pushed to the breaking point, and then to the very brink of death itself seems to be 9 Ibid, p. 225-226 10 Ibid, p. 232
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the final straw for Junger, as he remarks, “A profound reorientation, a reaction to so much time spent so intensely, on the edge. The seasons followed one another, it was winter then it was summer again, but it was still war... Things were less dazzlingly distinct. And I felt that the purpose with which I had gone out to fight had been used up.” 11 Junger left home and joined the
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