A Tale of Two Soldiers is a memoir about the unlikely friendship an American Jewish G.I. and trained sniper for the US Army, formed with a German Luftwaffe pilot during WWII.
On Dec. 18, 1944, twenty-one-year-old Max Gendelman was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, one of only a handful in his company to survive. Starving and dazed, his dog tags blown off, he was marched through German villages and eventually arrived at a farm the Reich had commandeered from a German family.
The family’s grandson, Karl Kirschner, a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe conscripted against his will, was hiding out in one of the barns. To Max’s astonishment one day Karl spoke to him through the fence; they discovered a shared passion for chess, and began to secretly meet to play the game.
As they got to know each other, they recognized what they needed to do; they formed a pact, a plan to escape together. This was the start of a friendship that would endure for more than six decades.