12th August 1942, midday
Marriage is a holy act, the binding into one of two human beings of different sex; less moving, perhaps, for a man than for a woman, but still a most solemn occasion.
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The purging of all foreign elements in Germany, introduction of compulsory military service, reconstitution of the German Army, abolition of the freedom of the press, suppression of provincial governments! Good heavens! Such ideas were pure blasphemy! People swore solemn oaths that they had never lent an ear to such things! But old Schröder, that most energetic of men, that uncompromising fanatic, accepted the whole thing without further ado. He was to the Navy what Lützow was to the Army. Hutier, too, was a national figure, and a fine one at that! But he had, I think, a tiny streak of the Catholic in him. When I discover a man like Schröder, I grab him at once.
Turning to Admiral Krancke: I suppose this accounts for the slight inferiority complex which the land forces feel in the presence of the Navy. We had to cut up our greatcoats in order to make puttees, and we looked like a bunch of tatterdemalion balletdancers! They, on the other hand, looked frightfully smart in their belts and gaiters; and we were not sorry when we escaped to the decent obscurity of our trenches once more.
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