3rd volume, no. 11


On the cover of the eleventh issue of the “Onderwater-Cabaret” from 1945, Curt Bloch stuck a drawing depicting English soldiers wearing their typical bearskin hats. The uniforms bear the runic inscription SS, underneath which one can read Hitler’s English SS – the title of a satirical poem inside.

In the Dutch poem “Duitsche autarkie” (German Autarky), Curt Bloch writes that the “Moffen” – a derogatory term for Germans – once restricted themselves to their own country’s products. Consuming foreign goods was considered betrayal, and only gasoline and steel for the war industry were imported. Then German self-sufficiency was abolished because they invaded other countries and enriched themselves accordingly; they drank French cognac and wine – enjoying the “time of abundance” while others suffered. However, the situation has since changed again: the Germans have been pushed back, left empty-handed, and face war in their own country. According to Bloch, in the end, Hitler’s autarky brought only bad results to the German people.

The poem “Verkannt” (Misjudged) refers to an article in the Dutch women’s magazine Libelle (issue 11, 1940), whose editorial board approved of content influenced by the German occupiers. Curt Bloch comments on a news item highlighting the generous treatment of British prisoners of war by the Germans. Mockingly, Bloch says they are treated as “honored guests” in German hands and are “almost better off than at home.” Considering Germans as undesirable and having only negative thoughts about them is an insult and an offense. The German feels like a scapegoat, while the negative attributions are just enemy propaganda. Bloch cynically concludes the poem: “For Germany has ceaselessly / done nothing but the very best / above all, it was – humane.”

A news report from February 3, 1945, states that British prisoners of war protested against the transfer of their camp to the approaching Soviet army. They requested to be taken behind German lines. Some even volunteered to “fight against the Bolsheviks in the German ranks.” This news inspires Curt Bloch to write the Dutch poem “Hitlers Engelsche SS” (Hitler’s English SS). In his belief, the alliance of British and Germans fighting against Stalin’s army is a pipe dream born from “Friend Goebbels’ mind.” Bloch imagines British soldiers with their bearskin hats terrifying the troops from the East, and Scotsmen in their tartan skirts annihilating the Russians in a special way: “A Scot will play the Horst Wessel Song / on his bagpipes. / The enemy will not survive that.”

In the poem “Selbstgespräch in Berchtesgaden” (Self-talk in Berchtesgaden), Curt Bloch leads his readers to Adolf Hitler’s residence on the Obersalzberg, where he contemplates the imminent end of the war by the fireplace. Hitler realizes that he has lost the “favor of the German masses,” and accordingly, his mood is quite down. He sits anxiously and without prospects in Berchtesgaden, trembling in anticipation of the penance that will soon befall him.