2nd volume, no. 28

Introduction to the content

With the poem The Backe Egg of Columbus, Bloch lampoons a popular German science magazine article that proclaims the health benefits of “grass flour” as particularly rich in vitamins. After losing Ukraine to Russia, German food supplies are depleted and Germany is bound to suffer far more hunger now that they subsist on their own meager crops. The beleaguered Nazi Health Minister Herbert Backe creates a new “egg of Columbus,” (an apocryphal story in which Christopher Columbus plays a trick on a crowd of naysayers). When you’re hungry you can just go graze in a pasture “for the love of Hitler.“

The cover of this OWC edition features a photo collage of a fortune teller across from Adolf Hitler. In the accompanying text, The Führer at Mrs. Sybille’s, Bloch mocks the superstitious Führer whose heralded by the German people as the “greatest of prophets.” Before he gained power, Hitler had relied on his own (Jewish!) “personal prophet” Erik Jan Hanussen (1889–1933), who was murdered by the National Socialist Sturmabteilung (SA).“Mrs. Sibylle” (based on the seeress from Greek mythology) reads a gloomy fate from his cards: “Soon you must leave.”

Commenting on a printed item from the Netherlands/East Institute, Bloch explains that the Dutch — as the hub of the tobacco trade — have long enjoyed their “tobacco pleasure.” According to the press release — smoker’s cards will be discontinued due to the “current tobacco situation.” Soon only Nazi henchmen like the SS and officers of the NSB (National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands) will have access to what’s left of the dwindling booty of Ukrainian cigarettes. Unlike the harsh rationed tobacco these are worth smoking. So, for now the Wehrmacht can still laze about smoking, but soon even they must smoke “stronger tobacco.”

In response to a newspaper report about the fanatical belief in victory propagated by Goebbels, Curt Bloch writes Eie Popeie – a re-working of a well-known German lullaby. The lyrics sooth the German people like a child who mourns her broken doll. The singer promises her a new, much prettier one. They use the same tactic to quash the German people’s despair. As the country lies in ruins Goebbels makes empty promises of rebuilt homes and cities “more beautiful than your old ones.”