In 1941, the brutal war raged in its third year, but from an aristocratic boys school, it seemed like an exciting time for seventeen-year-old Sellier and his friends. They lived in the country that, by all indications, was winning the war. Newspaper headlines told of the latest victories, and pictured a proud Adolf Hitler pinning medals on war heroes. Sellier and his classmates didn`t see this as propaganda, and swelled with pride.
Typical of many teenage boys at the time, Sellier`s fears revolved around the fact that he might miss out on the thrill of victory and glory of being a soldier. When draft cards arrived, the boys hollered for joy. Sellier was thrilled at the thought of becoming a decorated war hero. The future seemed bright, not to mention that he would escape final exams.
The reality of being a soldier, however, would nearly devastate Sellier. He was thrown into punishing and life-threatening situations during some of the most extreme battles in Eastern Europe. With terrible weather, the constant threat of starvation, and inferior equipment, the odds were against him. Yet somehow, through the harsh conditions and brutality that he would experience, Sellier would find himself a hero in a losing battle.