Bruno grew up in a struggling German middle class family. After his parents lost most of their savings during the depression, he was forced to work odd jobs to provide for his impoverished siblings. He found odd jobs just to help make ends meet. After joining a socialist trade guild, he was attracted to the ideals of Socialism and openly protested the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. He was soon arrested as a Communist sympathizer and sent to a “re-education” camp, where he was strongly urged to follow the National Socialist ideology. Upon his release, he joined the growing ranks of the rearmed German Army and was called to service in 1938. Renouncing his former Socialist tendencies, he whole-heartily committed himself to Hitler and the new regime.
Through this military experience, Bruno renewed his confidence in the Army High Command, understanding that they are creating jobs and opportunities for his country. He served with distinction in the Polish Campaign and is awarded numerous times for his bravery. German victories in France, Belgium and the Balkans convince Bruno that Hitler is on the verge of creating a new social order in Europe.
But this is all changes with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Bruno was transferred to 5th Kompanie and sees almost constant action on the steppes of Russia. Although he believes the enemy can be defeated in one final push, massive German losses dishearten the stalwart soldier. Resupply becomes disorganized and infrequent letters from his family makes him even more homesick. The Russians seem to have an endless supply of men to throw at the blunted German assaults. Ordered to pull out with his men to the Rzhev Salient, he sees the upcoming offensive as a final chance to knock Russia out of the war.