2nd volume, no. 52

Introduction to the content

The German People’s Storm reacts to a news item. It is September 1944, and Hitler’s Third Reich has already lost the Second World War. The propaganda machine mobilizes its last forces: all “able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60” are drafted into the Volkssturm (Nazi civilian resistance to the allied forces) to fight the approaching enemy to the death. Millions of civilians had already perished and now “children and veterans” are being drafted to fight a hopeless battle. Goebbels’ propaganda effort achieved just the opposite of its intention. Bloch suggests to the Volkssturm that they will be the target of the liberation forces and wise to flee or surrender at any opportunity.

Over the course of months, Curt Bloch’s impatience grows. He is eager for liberation in his hiding place, frustrated that he still cannot re-enter the world. How long can this last, he wonders. In this mood, he writes 25 Years OWC: From the 1968 Anniversary Edition in which he looks back from the future – specifically, from the year 1968.  He laments that his hair has become thin and gray (which doesn’t seem to bother Eisenhower who is bald in the least.) In this dystopic future, the British troops are still in a stalemate in Hannover and Bloch, still sits in his hideout – now alone with his hopes and dreams of peace.

In Sketch of the situation Bloch describes what is happening on the front. As American troops breaking the resistance of the Wehrmacht in the west, the German’s dreams of expansion to the the east have faded. The Russian army continues to advance. He concludes his poem with a question: “German people, you flock of sheep, how long will you let yourself be slaughtered for those who brought you here?”

In Holland the dire fuel shortage worsens. The Nazi occupiers stop and steal the bikes from Dutch cyclists at gunpoint. Bloch therefore warns of the German Piglet Hunters and advise the Dutch to hide their bicycles well until the “German executioners” flee without bicycles, which will happen very soon.

On August 24, 1944 Paris was liberated by the allies. The Ballad of the Alarm Clock is a nursery rhyme Bloch created, inspired by a cheerful propaganda news story from an old paper explaining that since German watchmakers were drafted into the army 120,000 German clocks in need of repair were sent to watchmakers in occupied Paris (no worries!)  The main character of the poem is Bloch’s invention: a German girl “Miss Becker” who sends her unreliable clock to Paris for repair. Now that the city on the Seine is liberated the alarm clock won’t ever be returned to Germany. Poor little Miss Becker!