Books: Things Hitler Never Knew

FORWARD, GUNNER ASCH! (368 pp.)-Hans Hellmut Kirs-Little, Brown ($3.95).

In Germany, it has seldom occurred to novelists that life in uniform is a laughing matter. But in 1954 a Prussian-born veteran of the Wehrmacht named Hans Hellmut Kirst wrote a book called Null-Acht-Fiinfzehn-the model number (0-8-15) of the Wehrmacht service pistol-which in Germany is a term roughly equivalent to G.I. The book snickered behind the officers' ramrod backs, put in a plea for the dignity of the individual in uniform, and demonstrated hilariously how a canny conscript like Gunner Asch could win at the old army game simply by hiding behind regulations....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!