2nd volume, no. 3

Introduction to the content

A press photo of the funeral procession for Reinhard Heydrich inspires Curt Bloch’s poem Pompous Funeral. A year and a half earlier, they drove Heydrich, chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, through an undamaged Berlin, but such a splendid sight is no longer possible. If Heinrich Himmler were to die today, they would parade his body through the devastated streets of the Reich’s capital on a mobile weapon platform. Also, the audience would be much smaller because many people are buried under rubble. However, it will soon be too late even for such an important funeral procession.

A newspaper report quoted Joseph Goebbels’ review of the year 1943: the course of the war was satisfactory from the German perspective, and the Allies were responsible for the world war. In his text Doctor Göbbels’ Masquerade, Curt Bloch strongly condemns this distortion of the truth. The German people had allowed themselves to be “consumed by the propaganda poison of the world’s greatest liar,” and some no longer took the “torrent of lies” seriously. But now, the struggle for the freedom of humanity is palpable, and soon “it will be over for the gang of criminals.”

According to a newspaper article, heavy Royal Air Force bombing raids led the residents of Berlin to negotiate special agreements: they not only coordinated where they would go in case their homes are destroyed, but also agreed in advance to share their belongings equally. Curt Bloch considers this a great idea. However, in his poem Dubious Case, he expresses doubts about the success of the arrangement if both households were obliterated.

The Alligator Song is a hymn to an amphibious vehicle used by the US military. The vehicle, officially known as the “Landing Vehicle Tracked” (LVT) or “Amphibious Tractor,” was used in battles in the winter of 1943/44 in New Britain, an island in Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. Curt Bloch is impressed by the success of the amphibious tank in the fight against the Japanese, who were allied with Germany. He hopes for salvation by the “Yankee” and his “Alligator”: if it were to arrive “here on land now, the enemy will be killed!”