hello all, I was born in 1959 (presently that makes me 59 years old, but that is subject to change!). Historical curiosity is always motivating me; my grandfather and great uncle fought in WW2 (on the losing side) and as a child my family was stationed in Germany where I spent eight years of my childhood. My mother met my father, a GI, had two kids, and we moved about a dozen times between various army bases, sometimes back "stateside" I was introduced to a lot of WW2 history at an early age. My father ran the US Army Officer's Club in Neu-Ulm, and I recall having lots of fun helping at the bar and kitchen where I got to keep any tips handed me Turns out a lot of Nazi bigwigs hung out at what was later was called the Donau-Kasino, and I recall hearing that Herman Goering used the facilities as his hunting lodge--makes sense as he was from nearby Guenzburg. Curious as a ten or twelve year-old naturally is, I learned all I could and talked to as many people about "the war" which wasn't easy around 1970. Still lots of vivid memories abounded, and collective shame, feigned or real indignation, and sometimes fading memories hindered what a pre-teen could get from his community. Not to mention the uneasiness with which my grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and their circle of friends exhibited when confronted with the blunt but innocent inquiries of who, what, when, where, how, and of course WHY.... "Jimmylein" they would invariable call me, often sitting me down to explain or sometimes rationalize the unease at certain questions I asked. For them, I think, it was sometimes very therapeutic to answer and explain what motivated them--my family--both citizens and soldiers (albeit drafted at middle-age) of the Reich. Interested especially in the wartime German psyche, as well as coping day-to-day in an oppressive police state, often with their world literally crumbling around them, I read and researched--pre-internet--as much as I could. A relentless interest in books, films, biographies--anything related to WW2 directly or tangentially! The Winds of War (a novel by Herman Wouk) and the German series Heimat were an early influence on my Weltanschauung, Of course there were books on our family shelves; I remember browsing Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, et al, at an age way younger than appropriate, looking back now. Fast forward to the present, where anyone with an internet connection, can nearly always get any question answered in a split second. So that's my admitted long-winded story, and I'm sticking to it! Looking forward to posting when I can........ --Jim W.