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cover / introduction table of contents

English Hardships

Today I read in the “Illustratierter
Beobachter” an article,
In which the Nazis spoke
About England‘s misfortune

A Nazi makes the German sheep
In the Third Reich believe
They can truly sleep quietly
Because in Britain it is so

Terribly bad and unbearable today,
Shortages reign there
And they grow day by day,
Yes, summarized:

The conditions in England today
Are truly terribly bad
And the proof, dear people,
You can clearly see in

The London “Punch,” the humorous newspaper
For the disdainful Albion,
It‘s a joke whose meaning
Can convey clear and evidently

The immense hardships
That England is experiencing
Because it wants to criticize the situation,
Yes, in the Thames city

One is certainly not satisfied today
And does not have it very easy
Yes, now we know, Mr. Eden,
When we compare it with here

Then we have it much better,
That can be seen clearly,
Because in Berlin the tap water
Is not yet flooding the room.

Sad conditions in the civilian sector
The London humor magazine „Punch“ criticizes the conditions on England‘s home front with the following apt drawing: A man stands in the stairwell of his home up to his knees in water and is on the telephone. He says: “Yes, I completely understand: if I had just properly wrapped the water pipes with old clothes and bed sheets that I no longer have, and had kept a crackling fire going the whole time with all the coal I can‘t get, then I wouldn‘t have to call a plumber now who can‘t come.” “London Punch” (2)

The gentleman on the phone
Admits it openly
In England, they are now without
Textiles, what can one say now?

No more bed sheets in the wardrobe,
No more old rags,
We have it hard today? Please!
The British have it hard.

When lighting a fire, the Briton must be frugal today,
The coal is very scarce,
In London, you can hardly heat anymore,
Yes, that‘s really true.

And furthermore there are in London today,
– as we learn from Punch –,
Seemingly no craftsmen either,
Because this unfortunate man

Complains that the plumber doesn‘t show up,
Even though it would be necessary,
And for the one who reads it, one thing becomes clear:
The situation is precarious.

No need to stir our pity for that,
England deserves it quite right,
But the joke should demonstrate to us:
We are not doing that badly.

When I read the Nazi comments,
I shake my head,
And sighingly say: God forbid,
That you still believe such things.

Of course, the life of the Briton
Won‘t be all joy,
And some things will hardly be there
Just limit yourself.

But are the conditions as sad
As you‘ve been told,
Is it only in England that life is so gloomy today,
Because it‘s lacking in many things?

Is the collection of textile a sign
Of abundant material?
With you, there‘s a scarcity like no other,
But you cover it up with prattle.

Well-preserved, however now at the crucial moment without value, is clothing and linen, which is dormant under lock and key, awaiting better times. Today, in addition to old textiles, every dispensable piece of clothing is needed for the production of raw materials. Think of the victims of the bomb attacks and the many forces working for victory. Every gift to the textile, linen and clothing collection secures their textile supply

May 7th to May 27th, 1944
The Reich Commissioner. NSDAP for the collection of old material

You remember this carefully as well: “Textiles are saved by every woman now!”

Whether coal theft is decorating
Every newspaper just for fun?

Can you get so much coal today
That you suffocate in it?

I believe your German stove
Isn‘t very warm either,
Catastrophes follow one another
With you, may God have mercy.

The greatest distress, the worst bankruptcy,
You are checkmate,
You don‘t even get craftsmen,
When you need them.

This is shown by a joke from German lands.
After being bombed out
They decorate the door with a garland,
Before the plumber comes.

Z.O.Z (Please turn over)

[Sign: Welcome!]
“Well, well, Mr. Caketooth?!”
“Because the craftsmen are coming tomorrow to fix the water pipes!”

Post-Editing: Sylvia Stawski, Ernst Sittig