3rd volume, no. 15

Immediately after the liberation of Enschede by British troops, Curt Bloch publishes his final magazine from underground. The headline on the front page reads “Bovenwater Finale van het O.W.C.” (Above Water Finale of the O.W.C.), accompanied by an image of a hidden person opening a cellar hatch.

In the Dutch poem “Bevrijd!” (Liberated!), Bloch draws a comparison between his time in hiding and the captivity of a bird trapped in a cage, unable to move freely. Nevertheless, he writes that he did not keep his beak shut, alluding to his clandestine publishing activities. Now his cage is open.

Curt Bloch’s first and only text in English is titled “To The Allied Forces.” It is a tribute poem to the British armed forces, for whom Bloch expresses heartfelt gratitude for the regained freedom. He apologizes for not being able to receive the troops with proper hospitality, as the Germans took everything. Bloch is glad that the “Nazi gang” will die and a new era will dawn.

With the poem “Spreek me niet meer van den Oorlog” (Speak to Me of War No More), Curt Bloch aims to draw a line under the past and look to the future. He writes about prosperity and truth that will shape the new era.

“An die Freiheit” (To Freedom) resp. “Freiheit!” (Freedom!) is Bloch’s final poem in German, a moving plea to stand up for freedom. He emphasizes that its value is truly understood by those who have experienced oppression and lack of freedom. In the last two lines, he urges his readers: “Therefore, be the guardians of freedom. Because who is unfree is – dead.”

With the poem “Bovenwaterfinale van het O.W.C.” (Above Water Finale of the O.W.C.), Curt Bloch bids farewell as an underground publisher. He announces the end of the Underwater Cabaret and expresses gratitude for the attention. Now, one can return to the daylight, and his dream of freedom has come true. Bloch hopes that those who were taken from him will return (referring to his mother and two sisters, who were already murdered in concentration camps at this time, though Bloch will learn this not until later). Closing the chapter of his extensive publishing work in hiding, Bloch ends with the old-fashioned greeting “Tabé!” – a farewell phrase derived from Asian language usage.