1st volume, no. 11

Introduction to the content

In the eleventh edition of the OWC, Curt Bloch had dark underwater thoughts. Like the diver in the cartoon on the cover, he imagined himself standing on the ocean floor in front of a box where freedom is held captive. Cries for help come from this coffin, and Bloch would like to smash it open, but he feels condemned to having to wait. Nevertheless, those in hiding find themselves in good company: the “best helmsmen” are also sitting underwater, and as soon as they can resurface, “we will do a whole lot more.”

The next poem was written by Curt Bloch in memoriam A.M. de Jong. He rightly suspected that the journalist and writer (1888–1943) was not “suddenly deceased” on October 18, as reported in the press, but was denounced and murdered. De Jong was an outspoken socialist and had taken a stand against militarism and fascism in his novels “Frank van Wezels roemruchte Jaren” (Frank van Wezels illustrious years, 1928) and “Dans op de vulkaan” (Dance on the Volcano, 1939). Bloch remembers him as a freedom fighter and “a beautiful, poetic soul.”

In German, Curt Bloch composed the Last Stage of Horror: faced with the impending defeat on the battlefield, the National Socialists rule with lies, persecution, and “Terror without measure.” According to Bloch, they themselves have the most to fear because the invincible “Mrs. Truth, she puts on a mocking face” and will shatter every illusion.

With undisguised joy, Curt Bloch announced the name of a city in Ukraine: “Kremenchuk!” In the autumn of 1943, this was associated with the forced retreat of the German army by the Soviet Red Army. Bloch sees the Germans everywhere on the defensive and the war as almost lost, “it won’t be much longer,” However, he wonders how many defeats the German leadership still needs to recognize their end: after the capitulations in Stalingrad (on February 2, 1943) and Tunis (on May 13, 1943), now also one in “Krementschuk???”

Curt Bloch’s Gutter Romance is about a lady who lives in the attic of a canal house. When a young man knocks on her window one night and asks for a place to sleep, she initially suspects an English pilot – a liberator! However, he turns out to be “made in Germany” and loses his sex appeal instantly. The lady calls the police, but the mysterious visitor disappears as suddenly as he appeared.

Curt Bloch wrote the poem “Mussolini in Venice” after Hitler had made the deposed dictator the head of the Italian Social Republic (RSI) – a fascist puppet state in German-occupied territory in Northern Italy. Bloch envisions Mussolini on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice sighing, as he now lives dangerously as Hitler’s henchman. In fact Mussolini was shot dead by Italian partisans on April 28 1945 – one day before the German surrender.