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F. Scott Fitzgerald and His German War Heroes

Erich Ludendorff and Otto Braun

Horst H. Kruse

Pages 1 - 18

To make up for having missed combat experience in the Great War, Fitzgerald read numerous books about the conflict and also visited its memorial sites in Europe. Two works by former enemies figure prominently on his reading lists and document his empathetic identification with the lost cause of the enemy: the memoir of Ludendorff, commander in chief of the German forces, and the diary of Otto Braun, a young soldier who died in battle. The impact on him of these works (previously neither explored nor ever assessed in terms of his writing) informs sections of ‚Tender Is the Night‘ and helped Fitzgerald to conceive and shape his “Count of Darkness” stories as a parable for the New Deal.


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