: A Chronicle from the Trench Warfare of 1918.
Original English translation by Basil Creighton.
Ernst Jünger ([ɛʁnst ˈjʏŋɐ]; 29 March 1895 – 17 February 1998) was a highly-decorated German soldier, author, and entomologist who became publicly known for his World War I memoir Storm of Steel.
The son of a successful businessman and chemist, Jünger rebelled against an affluent upbringing and sought adventure in the Wandervogel, before running away to briefly serve in the French Foreign Legion, an illegal act. Because he escaped prosecution in Germany due to his father's efforts, Jünger was able to enlist in the German Army on the outbreak of war. During an ill-fated offensive in 1918 Jünger's World War I career ended with the last and most serious of his many woundings, and he was awarded the Pour le Mérite, a rare decoration for one of his rank.
In the aftermath of World War II, Jünger was treated with some suspicion as a possible fellow traveller of the Nazis. By the latter stages of the Cold War, his unorthodox writings about the impact of materialism in modern society were widely seen as conservative rather than radical nationalist, and his philosophical works came to be highly regarded in mainstream German circles. Jünger ended life as an honoured establishment figure, although critics continued to charge him with the glorification of war as a transcendental experience.
After the war, Jünger was initially under some suspicion for his nationalist past, and he was banned from publishing in Germany for four years by the British occupying forces because he refused to submit to the denazification procedures. His work The Peace (German title: Der Friede), written in 1943 and published abroad in 1947, marked the end of his involvement in politics. When German Communists threatened his safety in 1945, Bertolt Brecht instructed them to "Leave Jünger alone." His public image rehabilitated by the 1950s, he went on to be regarded as a towering figure of West German literature.
Jünger was among the forerunners of magical realism. His vision in The Glass Bees (1957, German title: Gläserne Bienen), of a future in which an automated machine-driven world threatens individualism, could be seen as science fiction. A sensitive poet with training in botany and zoology, as well as a soldier, his works in general are infused with tremendous details of the natural world.
Throughout his life he had experimented with drugs such as ether, cocaine, and hashish; and later in life he used mescaline and LSD. These experiments were recorded comprehensively in Annäherungen (1970, Approaches). The novel Besuch auf Godenholm (1952, Visit to Godenholm) is clearly influenced by his early experiments with mescaline and LSD. He met with LSD inventor Albert Hofmann and they took LSD together several times. Hofmann's memoir LSD, My Problem Child describes some of these meetings.