2nd volume, no. 61

Introduction to the content

In December 1944, Curt Bloch had to change his hiding place for the last time. The Hulshoff family in Borne, a town in the province of Overijssel, provide him with new shelter. So, his first poem in the last magazine of the year reads not only as a farewell to 1944 but also to the people who took care of him in Enschede. He regrets being condemned to move on and not having a permanent refuge. However, full of confidence, Bloch turns to his friends and hopes for “a happy reunion”.

Although some regions of the Netherlands are already liberated, Enschede remains under German occupation. Curt Bloch waits impatiently in his hiding place and wishes for the Allied troops to advance faster. With the poem Deadlines, he reacts to a speech by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874–1965), who predicted that the end of the war might only come in the summer of 1945. Bloch says that they could gladly forego these deadlines. He hopes his wish for freedom will come sooner.

The machines keep purring and humming is a poem inspired by a newspaper report about the situation in the western part of Nazi Germany. In it, Robert Ley (1890–1945), the head of the German Labor Front, reports on the continued active production of armaments in the devastated cities of the Rhine and Ruhr regions. But Curt Bloch knows that enemy tanks are getting closer to the Ruhr area. Ley will be brought to trial, and the Nazi blood guilt will be atoned for. Robert Ley avoided conviction at the International Military Tribunal by committing suicide on October 25, 1945.

With a lot of irony, Bloch declares that the dictator Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) is a “cultural protector” because the German troops are withdrawing from many Italian towns without a fight in the face of the Allies. This is justified in the propaganda sheets by saying that “the German military leadership wants to preserve the numerous famous buildings from destruction.” Hitler is “a fine fellow” because he saves the monuments in this way. But considered soberly, this probably only applies to foreign countries because Germany is currently becoming a ruin. All that remains of Aachen is rubble, and many other cities face the same fate. “The Führer,” says Bloch, “is evidently enthusiastic only about Italy’s culture.”

With the poem Last Dance 1944, Curt Bloch closes the second year of the OWC. He draws a disappointing conclusion because the war is still not over. Sadly, they sweep up the dust of unfulfilled dreams. With the new year knocking on the door, Bloch harbors great hopes and welcomes it, “so that it brings freedom!”