Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 16

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 16 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

Yesterday we got insight into Stalin’s thinking following the encirclement of the Nazi forces at Stalingrad; today we get insight into Hitler’s thinking.

The overwhelming feeling of this chapter is a sense of inferiority. Hitler thinks that “He wanted somehow to despise him [Stalin], and he knew this was because he no longer had a sense of his own superiority over him… that cruel, vengeful little shopkeeper from the Caucasus,” (p. 658). The encirclement at Stalingrad takes on a personal character for both leaders in these chapters. It seems that Hitler feels just like the little bird caught in Stalin’s trap from the previous chapter.