2nd volume, no. 50

Introduction to the content

In Greek mythology, Prometheus was punished by the heavenly ruler Zeus for his rebellion: the Titan was bound to a rock. Every day, an eagle came; it was supposed to eat Prometheus’ liver, which, however, grew back every night. This ordeal should last forever. Curt Bloch sees a kinship; he feels like the new Prometheus. For “twenty-six moons” – 26 months – he has been trapped in hiding from the Nazis. In the poem, he expresses his despair and anger. Longingly he awaits the liberators.

Frederik Willem van Vloten (1889–1970) was a National Socialist politician in the Netherlands who headed the Winter Relief organization. When on “Dolle Dinsdag” (Mad Tuesday), September 5, 1944, the arrival of the Allies in the Netherlands was falsely announced, Van Vloten, like many other NSB members, fled. As a result, responsibility for the charity was transferred to others. Curt Bloch comments on these events and notes that Winter Aid in these times is in a state of dissolution. No one wants to support the NSB’s initiatives anymore. The “real Winter Aid” will come soon with the American troops …

A quote from Goethe’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” forms the title of Curt Bloch’s third poem in this OWC edition. In The spirits that I’ve cited …, he points out that the German people have made Hitler into a “Nazi idol” and have not considered the possible consequences. “Make murder a state principle, then you’ll end up being trampled upon.” Now, “the demon” will not be gotten rid of.

Curt Bloch regards the persistent slogans of German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893–1946) and Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945), Reich Minister of Propaganda, as siren sounds. This refers to Greek mythology, in which sirens played an important role. These dangerous creatures seduced sailors with their singing and lured them to their deaths. Bloch wonders if the exhausted German people still have the strength to fight and still believe the Nazi slogans – or if the people will simply end the war effort.

With a further reference to Greek mythology, the poem Oh, if only Germany weren’t so foolish! concludes this edition. Because the country now, as Curt Bloch writes, resembles Tartarus – the place of punishment in the underworld. If people had been wiser, Adolf Hitler could not have come to power at all. But now the empire is falling into ruins, and people will perish with the Führer.