One of 209,410

Private Hans Ringhardt was born in Rogzow, Pomerania, on 15 December, 1919. He was killed near Sorokino in Ukraine on 10 July, 1941, aged 21 years. Nothing more is known about him.

Of the 569,851 men born in Germany in 1919, 209,410 died in the war. That was 36.75 % of all men born that year. They turned 14 years old the year Hitler came to power, and had thus no say in the politics that ultimately led to their deaths. They were subjected to intense indoctrination for most of their teenage years. In war movies they are referred to as “Nazis”, as well as in games and cheap historical literature. Those young men didn’t have much say when it came to politics, as there had been no elections after 1933, and just a minority were members of the NSDAP. They suffered the consequences of decisions taken by others.

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