Write a 2 page essay on Document 20 Oral interview with robert Rasmus.Download file to see previous pages…
He says it felt like being in a dramatic movie, but with the added terror of it actually being real. It took a while for him to get used to this. Later in the interview he describes his six week tour of duty, and actual examples of the battles he was in and how they were. Throughout the rest of the interview though he returns to that same conflict he feels between the excitement of the war and the horrors of the reality of it, and how he doesn’t want to die. He says he was “pulled in two directions: Gee, I don’t wanna get killed. And, Boy, this is gorgeous country.” In the rest of his interview he talks about the experience of taking one German town and then another one, and how the first to die was a sergeant everybody hated and wanted to kill. But he is sure nobody in his platoon did fire the shot, and that it was a German. The immediate historical context of this document is the end of World War II. It is a war that many people thought had to be fought because of the evils of Hitler and the holocaust. Despite that, and despite the worthiness of the cause of the war, to the soldiers fighting in the war it was still terrifying. This accounts for the sense of “schizophrenia” that Robert Rasmus refers to several times in the interview. He felt simultaneously as if he was doing the right thing, and that it was great, and that he was going to die, and he did not want to die.
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