Let me be frank. This book disappointed me. There is nothing wrong about the accounts of the soldiers covered in this book. In fact some of them proved to be very interesting. Almost everything about life in the Gulag was new to me and rare to come across. Yet one good chapter does not a good book make. This book is let down by its structure. There are far too many pages filled with the author’s explanations of the background history. The most successful books built from soldiers accounts that I have read assume that the reader knows enough about the events covered to let the words of those there stand without scaffolding. Last Witnesses feels too neat, imprisoned within the author’s own attempt to construct a narrative of Germany’s defeat. This takes away a lot of the underlying confusion, disbelief and horror from many of the accounts within effectively sterilising and sanitising the text.