The Soldier X

Published: 2021-09-29 03:25:03
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Category: Slavery, Soldier

Type of paper: Essay

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In "Soldier X," by Don Wulffson, lies a boy who was drafted into the German army at age 15. His birth name was Erik Brandt, but after his second battle in Russia, he switched his clothes with a Russian Soldier to stay alive. When he entered the enemy lines, he was known to others as Aleksandr Dukhanov, serial number K487944. Two Hundred Twentieth Armored Division. But, he hated being called that. So, Nikolai Mikhailovich, his friend (the injured man who lost both of his legs and was the patient right next to X), came up with a new name for him. X. He meets nurses named Tamara, Katrina, and Zoya. There was a mental patient, who pretended to be the hospital's only guard was named, Sergio.
When the Germans attack the hospital's town, all the patients, doctors, and nurses try to escape to another field hospital. But, as the trucks left, Katrina was shot. X, Tamara, Zoya, and Sergio were knocked out of the truck. They ran. But, Zoya died along the way. Then, later on, Sergio was shot by a German. X and Tamara, continued on their journey, making friends and making enemies. The journey they take is their only way to find their freedoms. First, does war bring out the best in some people and the worst in others? Yes, war does bring out the best in people. When a bomb might've exploded a building, some people might run in and see if there is anybody still alive and help them. But, that doesn't mean war doesn't bring the worst in people either.
People react to war in different ways. Some might react the right way and become better people then they were before. Or they might react in the wrong way and become a horrible person then they were before. When in war, soldiers might fight for the right thing and some might fight for the wrong thing. Some soldiers might fight for what they love. Their families and friends or the people who love them back. Or they fight for themselves. Not thinking of others in any way. Sometimes people could change for the better. Or sometimes people could change for the worse.

In "Soldier X", when Tamara and X were injured from escaping the hospital attack, they walked for days. They went up to a house and the father wouldn't help them, but their daughter gave bread and apples to them. Then when the got to a town Klatovy, Czechoslovakia, a car went by. They asked for help and the lady named, Elena Novak let them stay in her home until her hometown was attacked by the Russians and the Germans. She gave the food, water and a place to sleep.
A quote to support my thinking is, "Tamara got to her feet. She was bone-thin, pale, and wheezing. 'You're ill," said the women in her sort of lilting German. I leaned forward, down to the open window. 'Please help us,' I said. 'We are so tired and hungry and we can't think straight anymore.' 'Who are you?' 'We are from a medical unit,' I answered. 'I don't know where any of the others are. I think most of them are dead.' Little blue eyes in a big pink face looked us over. Gear shifted raggedly. 'Well, we can't have you dead, too!' she said. 'Come, come. Get in the car.' We got in." (p.176-p.177) Even though there was a war going on around Elena Novak's home, she still gave others a home as well. Even though she didn't know X or Tamara, she still knew that it was the right thing to do. The right thing to do was help them. In the beginning of the book, after X and the other German soldiers were defeated by the Russians, Russian soldiers would go and stab either the dead or wounded of the enemy. Making sure that the Germans were dead. A quote from the book to support my thinking, "I heard someone pleading in German---then another shot. I belly-crawled a half meter and peered out. What I saw sickened me and terrified me. A Russian officer was methodically seeking out the German wounded and shooting them. A lumbering oaf of a foot soldier, using a bayonet, was dispatching other Germans.
He seemed to be enjoying what he was doing. And many of those he was bayoneting looked already dead; he was just making sure." (p. 74)When X was in the hospital, X met a blurring friend named Nikolai. Nikolai later lost both of his legs. He was like the father X never had. When X left the hospital, he left his father-figure behind. X also met two nurses who were his friends. Katrina and Zoya. They were the ones who let Tamara stay in their house. When they were killed, those were the pieces of Tamara that she could never forget. Sergio, the pretend guard of the hospital made it out of the Hospital attack but was killed by a German during their journey. Even though in his mind he was gone, he still had good intentions in helping X and Tamara survive. Elena, who gave them a place to call home for a few days was the person who really made the impact on their journey. If X and Tamara hadn't met Elena, they probably wouldn't have completed their journey to their freedoms. But, they also met a blurring enemy. Before they met Elena, they needed food and water. So, when they were in line.

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