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'Black Edelweiss' is a personal account of the author's war years, first at school and then with the Waffen-SS, which he joined early in 1943 at the age of seventeen. For a year and a half, the author fought as a machine gunner in SS-Mountain Infantry Regiment 11 'Reinhard Heydrich', mainly in the arctic and sub-arctic reaches of Soviet Karelia and Finland, and later at the Western frontier of the Third Reich. The characters in the story are real, and the conversations and actions are recounted to the best of his ability from the short distance at which he wrote the manuscript in 1945-46. During his captivity, the author was assigned for a time as a clerk to a US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps officer, and in the performance of his administrative duties, the author had access to the mounting reams of documentation of the Holocaust. His growing recognition of Waffen-SS personnel involved in the monstrous crimes of that process caused him to dig deeply into his soul, to examine his most intimate and private motivations and thoughts, and to confront the most basic assumptions of his life to that point. The author captured this process and the result in the notes which became this book.