An odd book.
Ostensively about a footballer, but actually a triumphant depiction of the victory of democracy over the evils of national socialism. Trautmann is the “everyman” showing how Hitler corrupted a country, turning good germans into brainwashed Nazi’s, who can only be saved by the shining purity and downright “goodness” of the English people.
Which isn’t, of course, to say that there was a good side to the national socialism, just that any nuance is lost beneath the whitewash of jolly old england riding to save the day.
And the odd part? Well, it’s an enjoyable read. Trautmann comes across as sincere and humble. As is the reaction to him by the working class people he meets as a POW in the north of england. The author makes an effort to provide balance – highlighting the incompetence / complicity of Baldwin, Chamberlian, etc. but it was beyond me to separate an individual’s story from the greater arc of english history…