2nd volume, no. 1

Introduction to the content

Curt Bloch begins 1944 with a New Year’s Wish: “That we may soon be set free and become human again.”

A newspaper clipping from July 1942 inspires Tempora mutantur (Latin for “Times change”). Then, Joseph Goebbels was still an optimistic, cheerful, courageous activist. The Reich Minister of Propaganda mocked a possible attack by the British and Americans, sarcastically welcoming them. Now, one and a half years later, he has “lost the desire to mock.”

In Genghis Khan, Curt Bloch compares the dictator of the German Reich to the founder of the Mongol Empire: Adolf Hitler portrayed Josef Stalin as a “cruel evil wolf” who wanted to “suck our blood.” Hitler, on the other hand, claimed to have saved the world “from the clutches of the devil.” But Bloch calls Hitler a charlatan who behaves like Genghis Khan and brings “distress and ruin.”

The dates in the Nazi calendar were intended to completely replace Christian holidays and their customs, and “indigenous customs” were substituted for the major celebrations. For the Yule Feast (the National Socialist interpretation of Christmas), party offices issued training materials for the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Teachers’ League with illustrative visuals. Publicly organized Christmas celebrations became re-education events. Christmas books with suggestions for private celebrations were published for families. The Christmas tree was renamed “Yule Fir,” and Christian symbolism such as the cross and Christmas star were replaced by the swastika or sunwheel. Curt Bloch’s poem deals with the “Old Germanic” ritual. It says propaganda will be sung as replacements for Christmas carols, and the blessing will be received from the Führer. But it won’t be long before “they pack up the Nazi stuff, and then the Yule festival will be over.”

Curt Bloch concludes the 1 January 1944 issue of OWC with a New Year’s greeting to my friends. He is still “quiet and captive” and mourns the people who were taken away. But he will continue to wait for freedom and peace. He wishes his friends happiness at the beginning of the new year!