1st volume, no. 16

Introduction to the content

The Winter Relief Action November 1943 was carried out by the Dutch Volksdienst at the instigation of the German occupiers. National Socialist propaganda exploited the initiative to portray the Germans as benefactors of the Dutch. Curt Bloch advocates not donating money to the Winter Aid. It will not eliminate poverty in one’s own country; it will only make Adolf Hitler richer. “Whatever we would give to the Winter Relief Action Goes into the German pocket.”

A poem entitled 1943 is not 1918 in German was already published by Curt Bloch in his magazine on November 13, 1943. In this Dutch version with the same title, he refers to reports in the politically controlled press that the prospects for a German victory are much better than at the time of the First World War. For Bloch it is clear: if there were no censorship and no fear of punishment by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, people would speak out for peace. There is “No goal, for which it is still worth fighting for” – the battle would end this year or next year at the latest.

In the poem I want to know more about it, Curt Bloch tells the story of a Dutch boy who joins the German army out of a thirst for adventure and with great expectations. But “The service in the army was very disappointing.” The soldier realizes that he is “German cannon fodder” and dies a heroic death for the occupiers. Now, Bloch says, his thirst for knowledge is satisfied, “now he knows all about it.”

In November 1943, the city of Berlin is hit by heavy air raids by the Royal Air Force. Curt Bloch writes that this is the Retribution for bombings on British cities in 1940. The revenge actions that the outraged Joseph Goebbels announces are nothing more than a bluff. He knows that his end had come and that he will have to pay for the crimes he committed.

The defiant slogan “Now more than ever!” was written on banners that were carried at German demonstrations in 1943. The aim of this campaign was to mobilize the last reserves in the ailing Reich. Bloch knows: “if one could, [do] as one wanted,” people wouldn’t carry banners like that anymore. Because like in 1918, the Germans will lose this war too. However, because they do not want to become victims of the Gestapo and “Himmler’s rage,” they patiently carry the banners – and the suffering.