Hans Sturm: A Soldier's Odyssey on the Eastern Front by Gordon Williamson

Hans Sturm: A Soldier's Odyssey on the Eastern Front by Gordon Williamson

Author:Gordon Williamson [Williamson, Gordon]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Published: 2015-03-18T23:00:00+00:00

Relaxing at home with family and friends.

‘Then come tomorrow for lunch,’ was the old man’s reply.

Because Sturm was reluctant, saying he had to get permission from the senior nurse, Sister Veronika, the old man replied, laughing: ‘Give Sister Veronika my best regards. She will have no objections!’

The evening with Feldwebel Herbert Schreiner was quite an experience, especially for him. He wanted to invite Sturm, because they needed ration cards, which they didn’t have. However, as Sturm was a Ritterkreuzträger, the owner of the pub they chose wouldn’t ask them for any money. Three bottles from his special reserve supply of wine also found their way down the throats of the two soldiers.

On Sunday at 12 o’clock, Sturm duly presented himself at the Ostallee. A housemaid opened the door and led him into the study, where both daughter and father greeted him warmly. Sturm presented his bouquet of Alpine flowers which he had ‘borrowed’ from the sister’s room.

The magnificent spread in the Schwarzmann house was most impressive, and had been laid out especially for Sturm. The time flew by well into the afternoon, mostly taken up by Sturm answering his host’s interrogations. The greatest surprise for Sturm was when other guests arrived, including Stabsarzt Dr Weber, who was apparently often a guest of Herr Schwarzmann. Then came one of the ladies whom he had encountered the previous day in the shop. She was with her husband Dr Ritter, who, as Sturm later discovered, was a manager from the wine-growing estate ‘Maximilian Grünhauser Herrenberg’. Most of the conversation which followed centred on Sturm and his experiences. They were conscious that he might have more of the same in store for him.

In late afternoon, the gathering began to break up. As he left, Dr Ritter said to Sturm: ‘Unteroffizier Sturm! I would like to invite you to our estate. We also have riding horses which you are welcome to use as often as you would like,’ and indicating the doctor, he added, ‘If it is all right with the Stabsarzt, who is already familiar with our estate, and who of course is also invited! My wife would be happy to collect you.’

Dr Weber and Sturm travelled together to the hospital. Weber was born in Trier and, after being wounded during the second month of his tour of duty in Russia, had taken up duties as resident doctor in the eye clinic at the Marienkrankenhaus.

‘Unteroffizier Sturm! Tomorrow at 10.00 hours, come for an examination!’ he said.

‘Jawohl, Herr Stabsarzt!”

The examination revealed that the right eye had improved. The severe double vision had lessened and the severe sensitivity to light was much less painful when the eye-patch was removed. The sliver of shrapnel, however, remained in the eye socket.

‘Sturm! On Monday you must come to the University Clinic at Heidelberg. There, we will be able to check and see whether it is possible to remove the shrapnel.’

‘Herr Stabsarzt! Will you be removing the sliver of shrapnel yourself?’

‘That’s something I cannot say.’

Because Sturm looked so troubled and


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