2nd volume, no. 22

Introduction to the content

The Handshake describes a photo op where shows and Heinrich Himmler shows his solidarity with Hitler, who at this point has lost much of his support. Der Führer’s hands are sweaty as his popularity wanes, and soon he will stand completely alone, when “his mass murder will be atoned for,” held accountable for his crimes.

In the second poem, an advertisement urges young men who don’t know what to do with themselves to join the Waffen-SS. Bloch believes that makes great sense! People who haven’t achieved much, who have failed in many ways, can feel elevated in German uniforms. As bootlickers of the German occupiers and traitors, they’ll find a purpose in life. But—alas— this glamour will be only temporary. “Soon, inevitably, Adolf Hitler’s star will sink. And then they will reap the fruits of their misdeeds.”

Curt Bloch dedicates a poem just to Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893–1946), appointed the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs after an early career as a champagne salesman. Now he’s a “Swastika Diplomat”. Von Ribbentrop’s notorious foreign policy “with cannons” made Germany the most hated nation in the world. Bloch describes his negotiating tactics as a range of dirty tricks: subjugation, “bribery, threats, poison, and dagger” Indeed, von Ribbentrop failed to read the room, and as one of the major Nazi war criminals, he was found guilty by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and executed in October 1946.

In Nazi Twilight, Curt Bloch describes the “calm before the storm” of the coming Nazi defeat. Several newspaper reports describing recent losses precede the poem. The spring of 1944 looks very dark for Germany’s dreams of glorious victory. The Nazis “tremble.” They are “horrified.” Bloch hears the “rooster crow of the near future: Hitler’s verdict has been read, and the world will be free again!”