1st volume, no. 1

Introduction to the content

In Past, Now, and Soon, Curt Bloch takes a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past, in which advertising cheerfully urged consumers to consume. Now, with the German occupation, the situation has changed dramatically from feast to famine. Bloch looks forward to the time when the Germans will be defeated, when “we will pamper our tongues and stomachs with new abundance.”

Great Men refers to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, whose military aggressions have taken these losers from obscurity to greatness. Their greatness, of course, is at the expense of countless citizens who have been plunged into suffering and poverty after they were drawn to these “great men.” Things have already gone awry for both. Mussolini is already “knocked out, and” Bloch claims “Adolf will soon be the same.”

In Ghosts, Curt Bloch shares imaginative thoughts from his hiding place. He talks about his quarters with a certain Geertje van de Weerd, where he was well cared for and carefree as a person in hiding. However, at night, ghosts appeared to him. Bloch suspects that the ghostly actions were the work of the hostess herself.

Allied troops land on the island of Sicily on 10 July, 1943. Despite the combined 345,00 Italian and German soldiers, Operation Husky advances inland and captures the city of Catania and by 17 August, Sicily has fallen into hands of the American and British forces. German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, however, does not, admit defeat to the German public. Bloch sarcastically compares Goebbels miraculous description of the German military success to The Veil of Catania which miraculously changed color as St. Agatha protected Catania from erupting volcanoes and invading armies.

The Propeller Song refers to the drone of the engines of Allied bombers. When Bloch hears this “humming,” his despondent mood brightens. Aunt Betje, apparently a co-resident, is frightened by this noise. Bloch reassures her, saying she should see the aircraft noise as a diversion – after all, the bombs of the planes are “smashing the Third Reich.”

In the last two inside pages of this magazine, Bloch promotes the upcoming book Piet and Coba as a sure-fire cure for sorrow. “Cornelis Breedenbeek” – Bloch’s pseudonym, is the author. The surname is derived from the birthplace (Breitenbach) of his father Siegfried Bloch. Bloch claims the upcoming publication will be “THE Dutch children’s book of the post-war period.” The names Piet and Coba refer to two people who —for a time— shared his hiding place: Bruno Löwenberg and Karola Wolf.