Saving My Enemy: How Two WWII Soldiers Fought Against Each Other and Later Forged a Friendship That Saved Their Lives, Bob Welch. Hard cover-$24.99, ISBN: 978-1-68451-033-7. Regnery History
Guilt nearly killed one of the celebrated “Band of Brothers” members, Sgt. Don Malarkey. He was a hero for his service in World War II, especially in the Battle of the Bulge, yet he came to the brink of suicide, haunted by the memories of the German soldiers he had killed. Across the ocean, Fritz Engelbert was shackled in shame for having been a pawn of Hitler–he too had fought in the Battle of the Bulge–but for the Germans. He could not find peace.
Don Malarkey grew up scrappy and happy in Astoria, Oregon—jumping off roofs, playing pranks, a free-range American.
Fritz Engelbert’s German boyhood couldn’t have been more different. Regimented and indoctrinated by the Hitler Youth, he was introspective and a loner.
Both men fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the horrific climax of World War II in Europe. A paratrooper in the U.S. Army, Malarkey served a longer continuous stretch on the bloody front lines than any man in Easy Company. Engelbert, though he never killed an enemy soldier, spent decades wracked by guilt over his participation in the Nazi war effort.
On the sixtieth anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, these two survivors met. Malarkey was a celebrity, having been featured in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, while Engelbert had passed the years in the obscurity of a remote German village.
But both men were still scarred— haunted—by nightmares of war. And finally, after they met, they were able to save each other’s lives.
Saving My Enemy is the unforgettable true story of two soldiers on opposing sides who became brothers in arms.
About the Author: Bob Welch collaborated with Band of Brothers hero Don Malarkey on his bestselling memoir Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant From World War II’s “Band of Brothers.” He has conducted hours of interviews with World War II veterans and their families and is the author of more than a dozen books on World War II and other topics. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is the author of twenty-two books. Welch is an award-winning journalist and his works had been published in more than a dozen books, including seven in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In addition, his articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated, and Runner’s World.