| After the Downfall |
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV (one scene)|
|Date of Death:||1945|
|Cause of Death:||Shot in the back|
Sergeant Karl Edelsheim was a career soldier with the Wehrmacht and fought for nearly four years on the Eastern Front. He was the top sergeant in Captain Hasso Pemsel's company for several of those years.
In April 1945, Edelsheim and the survivors of the company were making a last stand in Berlin's Old Museum. A heavy smoker and good scrounger, Edelsheim was smoking a cigarette he had made with dubious fixings and a strip of paper torn from Der Panzerbär when Pemsel pointed out a stone artifact in the museum.
As the Captain smoked a cigarette he borrowed from Edelsheim, he read the information placard out loud. Edelsheim, with mild mockery, suggested Pemsel sit down on it and see if it would transport him to another world. On a fatalistic whim Pemsel did so. To Edelsheim's surprise, the Captain vanished. In mad hope, he scrambled half upright toward the stone. This proved to be not enough and Edelsheim was shot between the shoulder blades. As he reached his hand out towards the stone, he died.
Edelsheim's POV scene, which lasts barely a page, is the only scene in the novel which is not seen from Pemsel's viewpoint.