September 1942. The few men from the Sturmpionierbataillon to have survived the North African campaign have now been sent to the eastern front.

Throughout the crucial fight for Stalingrad, a battle which claimed two million victims, human tolerance is tested beyond all limits. There is trench warfare, hand-to-hand combat for every single building, hunger and cold. Madness becomes the last place of refuge before death...
In these conditions, young Leutnant von Wetzland is forced to accept he cannot possibly keep up even the most basic of moral standards. And that applies to himself, as well as his men.
This book is based on extensive research, including numerous interviews with contemporary witnesses. But this is fiction rather than non-fiction. The author chose to keep close to the fiction, even when the two competed for priority, so that he could get inside the main characters' minds – and look with them into the depths of the abyss. It's this that gives the book its exceptional quality amongst the many other publications on Stalingrad, and sets it alight as a heartfelt, fiery protest against all war.

Mary Clark writes on her Book Blog:

"This powerful story rips the façade of honor and glory from war while meticulously exposing its true nature. Fromm's book is a no-holds-barred dissection of the machinations of megalomaniacs, the complicity of ordinary citizens, the myths of war, and the lies we hold dear at a terrible cost."

"This is war without mercy or honor, where courage, sacrifice, and morality count for nothing, as every action fails to improve the situation, leads to more destruction, and finally, loss of hope. In short, this is warfare on a grand scale which exposes its inanity. Anyone who is concerned with the survival of humanity as we glide into the future—whether unheedful or willingly supportive of the real motivations and consequences of war—should read this book."

You can read the whole review on:

About the author


Christoph Fromm was born on the 17th of July 1958 in Stuttgart. He visited the Schillergymnasium in Ludwigsburg and graduated in 1977.

From 1977 to 1981 he studied at the film academy (Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen) in Munich. He is working as a full-time screenwriter since 1983. He started early with writing prose alongside his work on screenplays. In 1984 he published the short story collection DER KLEINE BRUDER.

After working on several movie and television screenplays, he founded the publishing house PRIMERO VERLAG together with children's books author Tina Lizius in 2006. In the same year he published the political thriller DIE MACHT DES GELDES.

In 2007 he wrote the screenplay for the television miniseries DIE WÖLFE. For this screenplay he received the International Emmy Award in 2009 and the Adolf Grimme Preis in 2010. In 2007 his screenplay SIERRA received the German Film prize for best unfilmed screenplay.

In 2006 and 2012 he and Tina Lizius published together the two installments of the children's book DIE ABENTEUER DES GOTTFRIED PRIMERO. In 2013 he published his novel STALINGRAD which was a great success. In 2015 it was translated into English.

His third novel AMOKLAUF IM PARADIES has been published in March 2016.

Christoph1On the next page you find an article written by Christoph Fromm about the historical letters he used for inspiration.