2nd volume, no. 55

Introduction to the content

In Consolation, Curt Bloch describes how much harm Germany has brought to the world. But if all of humanity desires it, “great things” are possible. Once German power is broken, evil will be avenged, and “a new sunshine will gleam.”

A propaganda article reports that the new German fighter planes are terrifying and the most modern in the world. Their speed is even praised by an enemy British pilot. Presumably, the accolades referred to the Messerschmitt Me 163, the fastest aircraft of World War II. It could reach speeds of over 1,000 kilometers per hour and had a remarkable rate of climb – although its concept ultimately failed for various reasons. Curt Bloch initially joins in the glorifying tone of the newspaper report and praises the Magic Aircraft, which, after the “meagre result” of the V1 rocket, could now influence the course of the war in Germany’s favour. But at the end of his poem, he says this “miracle dove” is an illusion, “German mastery of the air is a lie and deception.”

In Maybe …, Curt Bloch agonizes about the uncertainty of how things will proceed for him and others oppressed by the German occupiers. He doesn’t know if his liberation will take days or months. But he still sees a chance to perhaps experience “a time of justice and peace.”

The Ufa Newsreel is written from the perspective of a film producer who reviews the events of German history that he has captured on celluloid. The documented history stretches from the November Revolution in 1918 to the German “struggle for death” in 1944. Soon the producer hopes to show his viewers “Hitler’s death.” The first German weekly newsreel was produced in 1914 (as “Messter-Wochenschau”), and in 1930, the first Ufa sound newsreel was produced. From 1935, the German Film News Bureau, founded by Joseph Goebbels, produced newsreels shown in cinemas before the main feature film. During World War II, they served both as information about current war events and Nazi propaganda.

On 24 October 1940, Adolf Hitler and Philippe Pétain (1856–1951) shook hands in Montoire-sur-le-Loir. The meeting between the German Reich Chancellor and the highest representative of the collaborating Vichy regime is the subject of a newspaper article dated 13 November 1940, as noted by Curt Bloch. Now, four years later, everything has changed: France has been liberated, Pétain has been forced into exile. Pierre Laval (1883–1945), who replaced Pétain and intensified cooperation with the occupying authorities, was first brought out of the France and executed in Fresnes South of Paris in October of 1945.