1st volume, no. 9

Introduction to the content

During World War II, Francisco Franco maintained Spain’s neutrality but ruled the country as a nationalist dictator. He executed opponents and forced hundreds of thousands of prisoners into concentration camps. In Franco Attempts to Retreat, Curt Bloch points out that Franco was always a fascist. Now that this ideology is retreating in Germany and Italy, he wants nothing to do with it and tries to focus his system on Catholicism. However, “Spain’s people are no longer being lulled to sleep,” and Franco must disappear soon. In fact, he remained the dictator and Generalissimo of Spain until 1975.

In A ghost appears, Adolf Hitler dreams of Neville Chamberlain (1869–1940), the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who had died three years earlier. He recalls a meeting at the Rheinhotel Dreesen in Bonn in 1938, when it was impossible to have a reasonable conversation with Hitler; the brutal aggressor refused to honour previous agreements. Germany, Britain, France, and Italy agreed to give Germany a large portion of Czechoslovakia. A few days later, they signed the Munich Agreement. Hitler violated that agreement within six months and occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. This marked the beginning of his downfall and the loss of all trust in his word. As a harbinger of doom, Neville predicts that Adolf will soon join his realm of old ghosts.

In the third poem, To the Even-handed, Curt Bloch accuses those weigh everything from all sides and refuse to commit, while always looking for their own opportunities and even finding benefits in the prolongation of the war. Bloch detects a clear weakness in these people; their worldview is like a sponge. But time will swallow the even-handed in the depths of its abyss.

His situation in hiding inspires Curt Bloch to make Zoological Comparisons. Like a mole, he sits in his burrow, quiet as a mouse, like a bird in prison, submerged like a goldfish in a bowl. He hopes that all the underground fugitives will leave behind their animal existence and eventually go outside again – “as humans among humans.”