Herbert Sulzbach

Herbert Sulzbach was born in Germany in 1894. He volunteered for the German Army in 1914 and served until 1918. He kept a diary during the First World War and this was published as With the German Guns, Fifty Months on the Western Front, 1914-1918 in 1935.

Sulzbach, who was Jewish, was forced to leave Germany in 1937. He moved to England and during the Second World War served in the British Army where he was involved in re-educating German prisoners. After the war Sulzbach worked for the German Embassy in London.

Herbert Sulzbach died in 1985.

Primary Sources

(1) Herbert Sulzbach, diary entry (3rd March, 1918)

The final peace treaty has been signed with Russia. Our conditions are hard and severe, but our quite exceptional victories entitle us to demand these, since our troops are nearly in Petersburg, and further over on the southern front, Kiev has been occupied, while in the last week we have captured the following men and items of equipment: 6,800 officers, 54,000 men, 2,400 guns, 5,000 machine-guns, 8,000 railway trucks, 8,000 locomotives, 128,000 rifles and 2 million rounds of artillery ammunition. Yes, there is still some justice left, and the state which was first to start mass murder in 1914 has now, with all its missions, been finally overthrown.

(2) Herbert Sulzbach, diary entry (11th November, 1918)

The order arrived in the morning: "Hostilities will cease as from 12 noon today". Apart from the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, all ruling princes of the German Federation have abdicated. Our Kaiser has transferred all his powers over the German Army to General Field Marshall von Hindenburg.

(3) Herbert Sulzbach, diary entry (13th November, 1918)

We now keep meeting small or large parties of British or French prisoners moving west on their way home. What a splendid mood they must be in compared with us.

In spite of it all, we can be proud of the performance we put up, and we shall always be proud of it. Never before has a nation, a single army, had the whole world against it and stood its ground against such overwhelming odds; had it been the other way round, this heroic performance could never have been achieved by any other nation. We protected our homeland from her enemies - they never pushed as far as German territory.