2nd volume, no. 53

Introduction to the content

In “I’m on guard duty”, Curt Bloch describes a German Wehrmacht soldier’s boredom and hopelessness. He suspects, among other things, that his wife will soon receive a widow’s pension – unless she herself is killed by a bomb.

Wood thefts! quotes reports from several Dutch municipalities. To avoid freezing during the harsh winter of 1944, people desperately search for fuel, and many harvest wood from forests. “Necessity teaches theft, necessity breaks laws.”

In one-on-one conversations, Germans admit that they “have had enough” and that Adolf Hitler is crazy. But when another person joins the conversation, they revert to cowardice. They abandon the courage to criticize the swastika regime and even call themselves “ardent Nazis.” Curt Bloch criticizes this cowardice, which has been evident for years.

In Justification, Curt Bloch defends his decision to write many of his verses in German. He insists that language is just material. It doesn’t matter if he uses Greek, Latin, or even German to criticize the occupiers. He is not a “Hitlerian” because he rhymes with German words. The actions and feelings of people take precedence over “countries, times, languages, boundaries.”

In the melancholic elegy, Curt Bloch reflects on life in a “lonely and empty cell.” Time is a wall that cannot be crossed. The sky seems eternally gray. He is a sad Don Quixote. His cheerfulness is frozen, just like the tones “at the posthorn of Münchhausen,” and will only thaw when the difficult times end.

A small newspaper note from 1938 includes a reference to the achievements of Semiramis, a figure in the mythology and history of ancient Mesopotamia. According to some legends, the Babylonian queen invented canals and cobblestones. For that, Curt Bloch is grateful. But Semiramis also invented chariots. She is known as the “mother of the tank, and so I’m going to hate you.”

In Cannon Thunder, Curt Bloch gladly shares how much he enjoys the noise of cannons. To him, the explosions are “songs of freedom, a song of new zest for life,” and a sign that the tyranny will end.