30. November 1940
|GEO & MIL INFO|
|01.12.: Metz Gen d Inf|
On 30 Nov. 1940 I was ordered to Bad Zegiestow on Poprad to attend a course for officer candidate sergeants. It takes place in the divisional school, which is housed in a highly modern hotel, the "Haus Viktor". The rooms are comfortably furnished, reception hall, staircase and corridors are covered with carpets and runners. In the lounges you sit in modern, very comfortable tubular steel armchairs. (Occupation powers always choose the best accommodation!) The building is situated in the massive Carpathian landscape high up on the steep slope of a deeply incised valley through the bottom of which a whisking and rushing small river is wriggling along. The Polish Carpathian region is the residential area of the Gorals. It is a people which in its way of life and in the consciousness of the Poles occupies roughly the same position as the Tyroleans in our country.
The course work is extensive and takes up most of the day. The curriculum covers all areas of military knowledge which is presented in lessons and sandbox exercises and reviewed in student presentations and discussions. The course leader is a captain from the divisional staff, teachers are officers of the different service branches. Once a engineer major gives a engineer officer candidate a task: Deployment of the bridge construction engineers under enemy fire. The candidate during the discourse: "... and the battalion commander has to be in the lead, because he is battalion leader and not battalion pusher." The major drives up in surprise: "What was that? Once more!" The candidate repeats his statement unmoved. The teacher is enthusiastic!
In the rooms we lying in twos. Already the first night my partner snores so terribly that I have to wake him up all the time because I can't sleep. Finally, anger grabs me and I hit him in the face with my pillow. Then he finally gets really awake, and before he starts snoring again I fall asleep. The next morning I ask the course leader for another room and now I have a very pleasant room mate. He is with the signal corps. I saw him again later during the advance in Russia.
In the evening, after duty, there are always a few hours of relaxation. Sometimes we go for a walk in the small town, but mostly we sit reading or chatting in the foyer, while the noise of the alcoholics emanates from the adjacent bar, drowned out by the sentimental sounds of the seasonal hit: "Hörst Du mein heimliches Rufen..." (Do you hear my secret calling). At the end of the course which lasted 14 days there was a feast of ham hock and sauerkraut. They were select, delicate, giant ham hocks.
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