1st volume, no. 17

Introduction to the content

The Wehrmacht’s surrender of the city of Gomel and further retreats before the advancing Russian troops were reported as positive events in the German-controlled press. Curt Bloch is amused that such defeats are obscured in the public eye and even labelled The Countermove. This propaganda is an attempt to save face, “even if they sense their end is near”.

In Those Who Live From the War, Bloch addresses statements by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, who, despite the dire situation, want to keep fighting until the end. According to Bloch, the Nazi leaders are only interested in their own safety, because peace will bring them certain death. The war must continue, so that they can prolong their own lives – even if it means the destruction of the world.

In the third poem, November’s child, Bloch notes his own birthday and lists several important historical events that occurred on the 9th November: the attempted coup by Senator Lucius Sergius Catilina in 63 BC, the desecration of synagogues during Kristallnacht in 1938 and Georg Elser’s failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler (which actually took place on the night of 8 November 1939). Bloch attributes his own political involvement to being born on this special day.

Thwarted Plans is about the German war criminals’ search for refuge abroad. The Allies thwarted this plan by prohibiting neutral countries from granting asylum to the Nazis. Bloch says “Hitler’s Nazi clan” cannot escape retribution and therefore can not sleep at night: “They tremble and they quake before the spectre of punishment.”

Bloch cites reports in Twentsch Nieuwsblad that destruction of Berlin by the Americans and British is considered L’hors d’oeuvre de Mr. Stalin – a prerequisite – for opening negotiations. Numerous bombs fell on the German capital, and Bloch writes that Berlin was „Coventryed,” a reference to the German Luftwaffe’s attacks on the English industrial city of Coventry between 1940 and 1942. And he assumes that the Russian leader will not be satisfied with this small portion. He will demand “a rich menu” – namely, “all Germany,” prepared “en tortue.” (Known as “mock turtle,” a reference to a classic calf’s head dish.)