Cover of Selbsterziehung zum Tod fürs Vaterland, 1915

Chasing Udo, an introduction by Ken Kronenberg

Self-Education for Death for the Fatherland

Udo and Friedrich Kraft in Georg Edward's memoir

Georg Edward (1869-1969) was a minor, some would say mediocre, German novelist and poet -- but an absolutely compelling memoirist. He attended Gymnasium in Giessen with Udo and his brother Friedrich. This account of them, which I discovered on-line in early February 2010, crackles with the energy and enthusiasms of adolescent boys. It also describes disturbing German educational practices of the day. Edward's narrative dates from the time of Udo's first despairing diary entries (1886-87) and affords us another glimpse into his world.

Udo Kraft: A German man, by Volkmar Stein

Udo Kraft photos

Udo mentioned in The Good Soldier Švejk

Udo Kraft, the diarist who wrote "Self-Education for Death for the Emperor," was the favorite author of Cadet Adolph Biegler, an over-striving monarchist, one of the chief butts of ridicule in Jaroslav Hašek's famous satire. Jomar Hřnsi has tracked down all of the 564 historical personages included in Hašek's book, Udo among them.