2nd volume, no. 9

Introduction to the content

A Way Back is prompted by an article about ethnic German farmers, who had farmed in the Baltic region for centuries, now displaced by Russian successes on the eastern front. Bloch explains that Hitler’s “panGermanian dream” was inspired by “Volk ohne Raum” (“People without Space”), a book that called for territorial expansion, a popular idea among his supporters. The “Moses Hitler” instructed his people to steal land from Poland and Russia, but as they are defeated all Germans are unwelcome and must retreat, even the longtime Baltic farmers are returning to their ‘unknown homeland.’ These skilled farmers are employed as simple laborers. Repatriation is not an act of liberation but enslavement.

The poem Pilot’s Chocolate? reacts to a few news briefs relating to the theme of Spain’s “neutrality,” which is actually Spain’s own fascist dictatorship. The first item relates the story of a coastal region on the Iberian Peninsula where many residents suffer from insomnia which has now been traced to consumption of chocolate intended for British pilots on long reconnaissance flights that washed up on the shore after the planes were downed. Another item claims Germany has lost Gibraltar to pirates but will soon reclaim it. That Spain is a “non-belligerent” country, and that portraying its stance as totalitarian is the British press stirring hostilities. Curt Bloch thinks back fondly to times when he enjoyed Spanish citrus fruit, now instead Spanish flu has made a comeback (which may refer to fascism). He believes the people are having trouble sleeping but he doesn’t buy the “pilot chocolate” story. He believes that Hitler’s friend Francisco Franco (1892–1975) “sees the shadows of the murdered marching past his bedside,” and his own “cavalcade of crimes,” not British chocolate are what’s keeping him up at night.

Nazi Jokes is the cover story of this edition of OWC, but the illustration is a carnival float from 1938, featuring a guaranteed soundproof ‘joke cell,’ because already then political humor was a punishable offense. Still, at that time it was possible to joke about that. Now that Munich has “received the visit of the British” (been bombed extensively by the Royal Air Force in 1944), “people have become bitter and serious.” The swastika regime could never tolerate a joke and now Hitler feels “the bloody seriousness will now begin.”