Dr. jur. Erich Göstl ( Vienna , 17 of April of 1925 – 28 of October of 1990 ) was a member of the Waffen SS , which was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross which was awarded to recognize extreme bravery on the battlefield Or successful military leadership.
In World War II, he was a member of the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler during the Normandy campaign , where he was sixth in the company, first Panzer Grenadier Regiment , in the vicinity of the French town of Tilly , a few kilometers from Caen .
Göstl was a gunner-gunner, from the endowment of an MG 42 , defending his position against an English attack (possibly from Canada ). During the intense fighting, he was shot in his left eye. And the shrapnel then wounded him in his left arm. Undeterred, he continued to fire and was caught up in the other eye, which “almost tore his forehead”. Even then, completely blind, he followed the shots from his machine gun post, alone and firing at what he heard, for he was completely unable to see anything. He continued to stand behind his machine gun and received another blow to the right cheek and the broken nose of his face. Place Göstl until the enemy attack was ultimately rejected, but it is believed only because of a jam in the machine gun. His friend Elmar Bonn pushed his way forward and with the help of some other men was able to bring him back to a safe position. At all times, he suffered horrible pain and was bleeding a lot on his face.
Göstl survived and was sent to a field hospital before being evacuated to Germany . He was at the school for the blind Cerninpalast, Prague , when he was awarded the Knight’s Cross. He was selected for the purpose of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, it has been speculated that this was due to the severity of their injuries, but this has never been corroborated by documentation. As a result the account was not well known in the last years of the war.
Erich Göstl later described his actions as, “just doing my duty”. He would also say that to stay in his position: “I could not do anything else at the moment”. Together with all the military personnel of the Axis who would become a prisoner of war and was released in April 1946. With the great help of his wife, he obtained a Doctorate in Law from the University of Vienna . He died at the age of 65, in October 1990, in Sankt Jakob , Austria.