Book Review: Siberian Prison by E.V. Enzmann

September 4, 2011


“Siberian Prison” by E.v. Enzmann is a non fiction account of the author’s experience in the Austrian Army and as a Russian prisoner of war. The eyewitness account was translated, edited but mostly left intact from the original.

  • 374 pages
  • Publisher: White Knight Studio
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1453773924

The Enzmann family was kind enough to allow two copies for a giveawayenter at the end of the post.

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I tremendously enjoyed “Siberian Prison” by E.v. Enzmann. Being an old soldier myself I appreciated the humor, story, skill and history being presented in the book. The story of Mr. Enzmann, a schoolteacher who became an officer in the Austrian army during World War I is astounding. To read the colorful eyewitness account of his trials and tribulations was amazing.

Mr. Enzmann’s sarcastic sense of humor is, especially to those who have been in the military, shines through the pages. For example, the Austrian army’s generous handing out medals:

“You usually received the first medal because you did not have a single one and your breast looked bare. You received the second because one seemed to be so little; you got the third because you had already two. The fourth and fifth were awarded because a man who had so many medals must be a very brave man, and one one could not go wrong in giving him another one. Hardly anyone knew why he got a medal, but everybody was sure he would never get a medal when he did something for which he deserved one.”

Mr. Enzmann goes on to say that the way for platoon leaders to get medals was to:

“…play cards with the commander and let him win. Only fools tried to get medals for bravery by being brave”.

There are many things I learned from this book, what amazed me was the how dependent was the Siberian economy on prisoners of war. The prisoners were an integral part of the commerce by the time the war ended. Many were household members, started their own businesses, married local girls (regardless if they had families back home) and more.

The whole early prisoner of war experience, to me, was well worth reading the book.

I usually don’t like to read books such as this one. There are several reasons; most of the books are unprofessional, badly edited (if at all) and frankly not very interesting. I certainly understand and appreciate the need of people to put down their amazing experiences down on paper for future generations and they are usually well received among families, however for the layman reader…not so much. I also feel bad about not liking such books, after all, someone poured out their heart and soul for the benefit of their children and grandchildren.
And who am I? – Some schmo with a blog – to pass judgment?
I was glad that this book is an exception.

There is an appendix provided by Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann (website), the author’s son, which is also very interesting and helps pull the story together.

So tell me, what is your favorite book of an eyewitness account?


The book is an eyewitness account of an solider in the Austrian army who was taken as a Russian prisoner during the Brusillov offensive.

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  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “Siberian Prison”.
  • There will be ONE (2) WINNERS
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Sep­tem­ber 10, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked
  • Please con­sider join­ing the FACEBOOK BOOK GIVEAWAY group

Congratulations: ebveronis@, amhengst@

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
Article first published as Book Review: Siberian Prison by E.v. Enzmann on Blogcritics.

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Siberian Prison by E.V. Enzmann


  • Leslie @ Tic TocSeptember 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Hello, hope you are having a fabulous weekend. What an interesting review, I like the part on the Prisoners, it was very interesting. You always seem to find and read the most interesting works. Nice job as always.

  • Julie @ Knitting and SundriesSeptember 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

    This one definitely sounds interesting. I’m with you on quite a few memoirs and such being badly written, but even the quote you supplied was pretty darn good! Thanks for the review!

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