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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Frederiksborg, Denmark
Died in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Birth NameBørge Villy Redsted Pedersen

Mini Bio (1)

Danish writer Sven Hassel was born in Fredericksborg, Denmark, in 1917. He joined the Danish merchant marine when he was 20, and a year later moved to Germany. Drafted into the German army--even though he was not a German citizen--he served in a tank unit in 1939 during the German invasion of Poland. In 1940 he attempted to desert the army and make his way back to Denmark, but was caught by German military police, court-martialed and sentenced to serve in a "Sonderabteilung", a penal battalion consisting of convicted criminals, deserters and other soldiers the military authorities considered expendable, and sent to the Russian front.--in effect, a death sentence. He served with several different tank units, was wounded several times and eventually attained the rank of lieutenant. He received the Iron Cross for bravery in combat. As the war came to a close and the German military began to fall apart, Hassel surrendered to Soviet troops in Berlin in 1945. He spent several years in Russian POW camps before being released. During his time in the camps he began to write stories of his experiences up to that time, and after his release in 1949 he was able to get some of them published.

He was planning to join the French Foreign Legion in 1951 when he met and married a German woman, and instead of fighting for the Legion, he got a job in an automobile factory. In 1957 he suffered a recurrence of an illness he contracted during the war and was paralyzed for two years. After he recovered, he began to write more books, which began a successful career as a novelist.

He died in September of 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, where he had been living since 1964

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Laura (Dorthe) Dorthea Guldbæk Jensen (6 January 1951 - 21 September 2012) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Personal Quotes (2)

[on fighting within the Wehrmacht during World War II] We were trained to become the world's best soldiers through the use of Prussian methods that surpassed any evil and terror you can imagine.
My books are strictly anti-military. They correspond to my personal view of what I experienced. I write to warn the youth of today against war. I am writing the story of the small soldiers, the men who neither plan nor cause wars but have to fight them. War is the last arm of bad politicians.

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