2nd volume, no. 41

Introduction to the content

According to a press release from July 21, 1944, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring informed the German Luftwaffe about the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. A group of Wehrmacht officers had attempted to assassinate the leader in order to force a political overthrow and end the war. Göring described the assassins as pitiful, cowardly, and lacking in leadership, but Curt Bloch wondered: Who is right? The militarily educated, experienced generals condemning Hitler’s “mad war”? Or Adolf Hitler – a “medicore painter,” “vain braggart,” and amateurish statesman?

In his poem Horse Racing Forbidden, Curt Bloch reflects on the news that all horse races in Germany have been banned due to the “total warfare.” It is probably not the time for “colorful jockey amusements” as all energy is needed for the war industry. In fact, alone for the war against the Soviet Union, 750,000 horses had to be provided. But, Bloch writes, horse racing has become superfluous anyway – one can now watch the German army racing, as the Reich has “gambled away” the war.

With undisguised joy, Curt Bloch observed the unstoppable advance of the Allies in France. A newspaper clipping reported an “operational battle of movement,” similar to the one that had already led to victory over France in 1940. However, in his poem Western Front Perspective, Bloch mentions all the French territories from which the “Yankees” had already driven out the German occupiers. Contrary to the propaganda lies of the “gnome Goebbels,” now one German fortress falls after another, and “Paris will fall shortly.”

The failed assassination attempt on Hitler occupied Curt Bloch so much that he dedicated a second poem to this event in this issue. Although rumors circulated that the Führer was dead, Bloch had to conclude: Unfortunately, that is not so. A propaganda photo shows the Führer alive and well at the bedside of two followers who were seriously injured by the bomb intended for him. Bloch openly admits that he would have been pleased with Hitler’s death because then he would be content, “and the war was over.”

Curt Bloch’s poem Conversation with Beneš is an imagined interview with the Czech President Edvard Beneš (1884–1948) in his London exile. Under the pseudonym Breedenbeek (Dutch translation of Breitenbach, his father’s birthplace), Bloch questions Beneš about the situation in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Both agree that the Russians will soon expel the Nazi officials from Prague. Once “the air will be clean,” Beneš wants to work together with Russian leader Josef Stalin and British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden for “a new era” and “lasting peace.”

Also, in Curt Bloch’s song The General Guderian, the focus is on the advance of the Red Army. The central figure in the song is Hitler’s Generaloberst Heinz Guderian (1888–1954). He claimed he could drive out the “Bolshevik invaders” from all occupied territories. Although, according to Bloch, everyone knew that “the Moffen can’t be saved,” Guderian fanatically says “NO!!!” Hitler doesn’t live behind the moon, “soon we’ll move forward again!” In the final refrain, Bloch coolly prophesies, “Hitler is breaking down.”