The Price
Chapter 7

The War Ends

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…my spine tingled when I thought of Helmuth's predictions about the destruction of Germany. I was witnessing with my own eyes the death of a German city.
Summary
After witnessing the bombing of Oldenburg, his army group was sent to Czechoslovakia. Along the way they have to dodge Allied warplanes, and witness a truckload of refugees get shot up.

In Czechoslovakia, Karl-Heinz has still not been given a weapon. He and the others spent their time playing soccer with the local children. While they were busy playing, they were encircled by Russians and surrendered.

The Russians began to take advantage of the locals, but they weren't all bad. When the Czechs refused to give water to the Germans, the Russians make it happen, in the process confiscating a horse and wagon to carry the sick and wounded.

A column of SS try to break through the Russians and Czechs, but are killed, and a Russian is recognized as one who had fought under the Germans, and he is killed.

In the town of Tabor, the Czechs refuse to bake bread for the Germans, so the Russians arrested them all and no one had any bread. After that, they baked bread for everyone.

The Russians put them to work cleaning up live ammo that had been left behind by the Germans, and burying them in a large pit. Their Russian guard led them around town, stealing sewing machines. Another guard forced some Germans to beat up some Czech teenagers at gunpoint. "The Czechs were beginning to see that they might have driven out the devil with Beelzebub," says Karl-Heinz.

This chapter ends with the German men believing they are being put on a train to be sent home.
Analysis
The unfortunate Czechs got caught in the middle between the Nazis and the Communists, two violent, godless, ruthless cultures clashing. To be ruled by one, they soon discovered, was no better than to be ruled by the other.
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