Timeline of My War (Mein Krieg)

Short Erich Kuby biography below

1939
Sliding into war [translated, but not yet posted..................................................9
27 August 39. Berlin
6 October 39. Barracks in Postdam
10 Oct. 39. Potato harvest in Buberow
6 Nov. 39. Arrival in Daleiden by Prüm in the Eifel region (near border with Luxemburg and France)
29 Nov. 39. The communications squad moves to the barracks in Prüm
1940
Music in the Eifel...........................................................................................31
War journey through France [will be summarized]...........................................34
11 May 50. Belgium
12 May 40. Kuby's unit enters Luxemburg
17 May 40. Iviers, France
20 June 40. Villecomte, Dept. Côte-d'Or.
9 July 40. Le creusot
As victor in paradise......................................................................................48
9 Sept. 40. Avallon
22 September 40. Kuby visits Romain Roland in Vézeley
Heim ins Reich  (Home into the Reich)..............................................................65
25 September 40. Alttuchband by Frankfurt/Oder

1941
Almost escaped the war................................................................................77
February-March 41 –  Educational leave in Berlin

The Oberkommando Wehrmacht discovers corporal E.K..............................87
April 41. Kuby's proposed book of his letters "War Trip through France" is
rejected by the German Army High Command.
Marching against the Soviet Union.................................................................94
In the 1999 pocket book edition, these two chapter heads (but not
the chapter contents)
are switched.
6 June 41, Altkelken, East Prussia
Still in East Prussia........................................................................................97
The war begins again..................................................................................106
22 June 41. Lithuania
24 June 41. Kuby's unit crosses the Russian border
28 June 41. Estonia

The military court puts things in order...........................................................139
Ljubnja (near Leningrad)
3 August 41. Court martial. Pretext infraction of sentry duty, disobedience.
Kuby reduced to private, sentenced to prison but put on probation,
transferred to infantry.

As infantryman............................................................................................158
11 August-beginning September 41 takes part in battles near Leningrad

Bad feet carry me home...............................................................................188
18 September 41. Sent back to field hospital in Smolensk because of infected legs.
20 September 41, Pleskau
2 Octover 41, Stettin, Prussia 
4 November 41, Züllichau, Prussia, light duty
19 November 41, Frankfurt/Oder, treatment by orthopedic doctor
In Züllichau – to where you come to out of Bomst (in West Prussia).............196
1942
Still in Züllichau............................................................................................207
January 42, waiting for shoe inserts, takes part in infantry exercises, light duty.

Works on his letters, plays the organ in local, church, rents another room.

Again to Russia............................................................................................215
6 March 42. Kuby on his way back to Russia
Little Town of Demidoff – an island. [will be summarized].............................225
18 March 42. Arrival in Demidoff, village west of Smolensk. Lineman.
15 June 42. Kuby's military files arrive in Demidoff. It is decided that Kuby
should serve the reduced sentence of 9 months after all.
Luckily into prison........................................................................................264

17 July 41, Rudnja, military prison....August, Kuby decorates the prison.
Released early to reserve a unit,  served 4/12 months out of 9

In a harmless barracks..................................................................................291

Reserve unit Ingolstadt (north of Munish)

1943
Encounters in Ingolstadt...............................................................................303

A summer in the Allgäu (area between Munich and Switzerland....................314

Transfered to another reserve unit in Kempten, 19 Feb. 43
From the Dnieper Return Undesired [translated]....................................348
1944
In the meantime back at the Bodensee.........................................................389

Leave, then back to Russia
Wolynisch fever [Malaria]............................................................................394

Passes through various field hospitals in Ukraine, Poland, Silesis, ends up in
Esslingen near Stuttgart until he is put in a Signals unit and sent to France, first
to Straßburg, then by train to France.
And once again through France (siege of Brest) [summary]..........................411
Among Americans in France (as POW).......................................................439
1945
Killing time in the library tent.......................................................................467
From Rennes to the Bodensee....................................................................484

Short Erich Kuby biography: Excerpt from my translation into English of the German Wikipedia article about Erich Kuby

Life -The early years

Erich Kuby's father had bought in 1901 an estate in West Prussia, but after one year he had to give up working it. He then moved to Munich and met his future wife Dora Süßkind. Their son Erich was born 1910 in Baden-Baden (southwestern Germany).

In 1913 the family moved to the Alpine foothills in Upper Bavaria where the father again took over a farm. There the child grew up while his father served in the WW1 as reserve officer. After the end of the war the family moved to Weilheim where Erich was enrolled in the "Gymnasium" (preparatory school for university). Due to his father's long absence, he seemed to Erich to be "a rather strange man."

In Munich Kuby took violin lessens. At school he was influenced politically by, among other people, a critical Jewish professor. In Munich he received his diploma as external student. He then studied Economics at the universities of Erlangen and Hamburg and completed his studies in 1933. During his semester breaks he worked as a longshoreman at the Blohm & Voss company in Hamburg.

In 1933 he emigrated, traveling by bicycle, together with his Jewish girlfriend Ruth, to Yugoslavia. However, he returned from there to Germany, alone, after a few months because he reportedly wanted to analyse from a close distance, but nevertheless intellectually from afar, the "process of decay" of the country.

He moved from Munich to Berlin and worked in the picture archive of the Scherl Publishing House. In 1938 he married the sculptress Edith Schumacher, the daughter of the National Economist Hermann Schumacher of Berlin. Together they had five children. His wife's sister was married to the atomic physicist Werner Heisenberg. They were "Complete Patriots" (title of his history of the family which was published in 1996). During the Second World War Kuby served in the Wehrmacht (German army) in France and on the eastern front. In Russia in 1941 Kuby was brought before a military court because of a supposed infraction of sentinel duty regulations and sentenced to nine months in prison and reduced in rank from corporal to private. He described the normal life of a German soldier in letters and with almost daily diary entries, and he completed many sketches. After the war he was, for a short time, until June 1945, a prisoner of war in U.S. captivity. He published his war experiences later in the works Demidoff – oder von der Unverletzlichkeit des Menschen (On the Invulnerability of Mankind, 1947), Nur noch rauchende Trümmer (Nothing but Smoking Ruins,1959), and his opus magnus "Mein Krieg" (My War, 1975). In 2000 he published these as a complete edition.

Journalistic career

After the war Kuby first rebuilt his parents' destroyed house in Weilheim. Then he was hired by the American military administration ICD (Information Control Division) in Munich as advisor. He was given the task of awarding newspaper "Zeitungslizenzen" (publishing licenses) to trustworthy people. In January 1946 he took part in the founding of the magazine Der Ruf (The Call). He was named its chief editor in 1947 after the dismissal of Alfred Andersch and Hans Werner Richter. However, in this role Kuby fared no better and, after a year, was also forced to leave. Nevertheless, he continued his journalistic career and founded his own publishing house, a step he later came to regret. In the following years he worked for the Süddeutsche Zeitung as editor. He then became a freelance contributor to many magazines such as Spiegel, Stern and Frankfurter Hefte. In his articles the "Nestbeschmutzer von Rang" or "top ranked fouler of his own nest" (according to Heinrich Böll) occupied a political position between parties and was an important opponent of German rearmament.

Erich Kuby was considered to be one of the most important chroniclers of the German Federal Republic. In the 1960's he became involved in the student uprisings. In the summer of 1965 the Kuby case made headlines throughout Germany when the then head of the Free University of Berlin forbade Kuby to speak at the university. Seven years earlier Kuby had critisized the use of the name "Free University" and therefore was not allowed to accept the invitation by AStA (General Students' Committee) to take part in a discussion panel. This led to protests by the student body.

In 1965 Erich Kuby wrote for the Spiegel a six part series 1965 "Die Russen in Berlin 1945" (The Russians and Belin 1945) and afterwards published it as a book while making extensive use of the then available sources in Eastern Europe.

He always maintained a non-partisan point of view and was not afraid of criticism by like minded people and former colleagues. In 1983 and 1987 he wrote for the magazines Stern and Spiegel detailed critical analyses of Germany's past and present. With his war diary Mein Krieg - Aufzeichnungen aus 2129 Tagen (My War, Notes from 2120 days), 1975 Kuby presented an ordinary soldier's insider view of the Wehrmacht from 1939 to 1945. This first edition was not well received, perhaps because of its documentation of German collective responsibility for the excesses of WW2 and even WW1. To read the digitized book in German go to www.erichkuby.info/MeinKrieg.pdf.

Radio- and Screenplays

Along with his journalistic activity he adapted socially critical material for radio and television. His controversial radio play about the senseless defense of Fortress Brest in France by the Wehrmacht toward the end of the war earned him the accusation of slander by the responsible general Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke. Kuby had taken part as a soldier in the the destruction of Brest in 1944. In 1959 the charge was dismissed by the courts.

Erich Kuby became famous because of his collaboration in the screenplay for the movie "Das Mädchen Rosemarie." It served as the basis for his 1958 novel "Rosemarie. Des deutschen Wunders liebstes Kind" (Rosemarie, the favorite child of the German Miracle). It is about the unsolved murder of Frankfurt callgirl Rosemarie Nitribitt. The drama exposed the hypocrisy and dark side of the German Economic Miracle. His fictional representation captured the Zeitgeist of the times so realistically that his hypothetical version of the background of the murder was largely accepted as truth by public opinion.

The final years

Erich Kuby spent his final 25 years mostly in Venice, from where he continued to take part in Germany's political debates. Until 2003 the "Homme de lettres" wrote columns under the byline "Zeitungsleser" (Newspaper Reader) for the weekly magazine Freitag (Friday). He died in his 95th year and is buried on the island cemetery San Michele in Venice.

Family

Erich Kuby married twice, the second time with author and publisher Susanna Böhme (born 1947) with whom he had a son named Daniel. From his marriage with Edith Schumacher (1910–2001) he had the children Thomas, Gabriele, Clemens and Benedikt. The last three are also writers. Sophia Kuby, spokesperson for the media network "Generation Benedikt," is his grandchild.