1st volume, no. 13

Introduction to the content

In the poem “Gasoline Legend,” Curt Bloch addresses the inversion of truth. After World War I, German propaganda told the Dolchstosslegende, blaming their own guilt on “dark powers” or alternatively on Jews, Marxists, Jesuits, Freemasons, or the British. After the Allies’ victory over Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in 1942, a new legend is being told: the defeat of the German-Italian armored army is solely attributed to a shortage of gasoline caused by Italian betrayal. However, Bloch is convinced that lies cannot avert the impending defeat: “You have lost the game.”

Faced with heavy German losses and British bombing raids, Joseph Goebbels attempts to reassure the German people: “1943 is not 1918.” Unlike in World War I, they are stronger and will fight to the end. Yet, Curt Bloch detects unusual melancholic undertones in the Reich Propaganda Minister’s speech. He interprets them as signs of a twilight of the gods and “announcing the near depth of the grave.”

The poem Three Powers Conference reflects Curt Bloch’s impatience with British warfare. The title refers to the meetings of the foreign ministers Cordell Hull (USA), Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Union), and Anthony Eden (Great Britain) in the autumn of 1943. These three statesmen are also depicted on the cover of this “Onderwater-Cabaret” issue. While the Russians knew exactly what needed to be done, Bloch criticizes the British for not living up to their commitments. He suggests that they should stop conferencing for long and start “not with words but with actions.

As the current war situation unfolds unfavorably for the Germans, their propaganda refers to past surprise successes to boost morale. From the Blitzkrieg in Poland to the liberation of Mussolini, they have shone through “Hussar tricks”. But, Curt Bloch believes, “You don’t win the war. The swastika must yield, and victory will be ours.”

Golden Mountains” promised Joseph Goebbels to millions of Germans living in poverty and homelessness due to the war. However, the “dream image” of prosperity and success no longer appeals to this audience. The people are tired of Goebbels’ “fancy words”, writes Curt Bloch. They now see him as “the evil one, and hope that someone will soon release us from his blarney”.