Fourteen On the Eastern Front

I came to know a man who was drafted into the army out of his eight-grade class along with all of his classmates.
Attending an Austrian boarding school, away from the big city bombing targets,the whole class was drafted and put on a train to boot camp with only a brief letter to advise their mothers when they had gone. Six weeks later the boys were in Hitler’s army fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front.


  1. Maury Hirschkorn says:

    Dear Steve Roberts,
    I have a question about the book, “Private Svododa.” Is it a memoir or a work of fiction?
    If it is a memoir, did Alex Svobody tell you his wartime experiences, and you wrote them down? In what years did Alex Svobody serve as a soldier in Russia?
    Sincerely, Maury

    • steve roberts says:

      Maury, Thanks for your question. The book is closely based on the true story of Alex Svoboda’s struggle to survive on the Eastern Front. The story was obtained through weekly interviews with Alex and my research of the people and events involved in the war.
      Alex was in the war from his draft date at school of February 5, 1944 until returning home just as the war was ending in May 1945.
      A second edition has just been released which includes a bit more information on Alex’s experiences after the war. It is available in paperback and digitally on Kindle etc.

      • steve roberts says:

        Forgot to mention to authors out there that the second edition of the book Private Svoboda was handled by my long time printer Instant Publishing. I tried a POD publisher for one of my books but I have returned to Instant Publishing for the last two books due to continued good experiences in publishing my books through this company.

  2. Karen Folques says:

    Steve…Congratulations on this book. I have been working with Alex von Svoboda for quite a long time, editing and gathering the many stories he’s written about his life. He certainly would like to see more of his works in print.

    • steve roberts says:

      Karen, Thanks for your comment on Private Svoboda. I too have enjoyed working with Alex of the past two years. He is quite a character and I know he wants to do more books but I’m not sure we will do more. I will be traveling to Florida next week and hope to meet with Alex and Helen soon after that.

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  • About Steve

    Steve Roberts was born in Greenville, Ohio, the son of a small-town golf pro and a mom who managed the golf pro shop. The small family lived in the other half of the pro-shop building. Later the family grew to four children as they moved around Ohio in search of more financially rewarding work for Dad. Learn More...