3rd volume, no. 14

On the cover of the OWC magazine dated April 2, 1945, is an illustration by cartoonist Peter Lees Walmesley (1908–1942). It depicts Adolf Hitler in conversation with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. The illustrator has dressed Göring, already known for his extravagant uniforms, in the supposed attire of a cannibal chief.

The first text in the magazine is titled “De Onderduikers van morgen” (The Hiders of Tomorrow). Bloch predicts an end to the “underwater period.” After 32 months of hiding, people will soon be able to move freely again. And then dictators will have to go into hiding and become “Onderduikers” themselves. An inserted image shows Benito Mussolini as a fish. Bloch looks forward to seeing Adolf Hitler lying dead underwater.

The image on the cover inspires Curt Bloch to write the German poem “Kein Unterschied” (No Difference). It presents a fictional dialogue between Göring and Hitler. The Reichsmarschall no longer wants to live in hiding but desires to be back in the spotlight wearing magnificent regalia. Escaping to Africa and living as a Zulu chieftain, dressed in a panther skin adorned with skulls, appears to be his way out. However, there is a problem because the African tribe is so different from the German master race. Hitler corrects him: The Germans are equal to the cannibals due to the torture they have inflicted. In his text, Curt Bloch uses the N-word, which was commonly used at that time to refer to dark-skinned inhabitants of Africa and has been considered derogatory since the 1970s. It is no longer used today.

In the Dutch poem “Vrijheid!” (Freedom), the joy of the imminent liberation is expressed. Bloch writes about the “dawn of a new era.” The price of freedom has been high, with “need and death and agony,” making it all the more precious and worthy of protection.

Above the German text “Im April” (In April), there is a newspaper article from March 10, 1945, which apparently comes from an NSB propaganda publication. It aims to make its readers believe in a German victory with the announcement of “well-equipped new divisions” and “secret weapons.” Curt Bloch mocks these promises in his verses, exaggerating them. He rhymes about wonderful weapons, victory over the Russians, the expulsion of Stalin from the German Reich, the praise of Adolf Hitler on his birthday in April as war victor, and a large number of new Wehrmacht soldiers who would push back all enemies. However, the unrealistic nature of these ideas is highlighted in the last three lines: “But April / throws these sad cadets / into the trash.”

A newspaper excerpt from March 24, 1945, quotes a report from a German broadcast on the British BBC radio. The Wehrmacht’s military offensive in Hungary is justified by giving the Nazi leadership time. Hitler, Himmler, Mussolini, Mussert, Quisling, and others wanted to retreat to Klagenfurt and Berchtesgaden, where they could resist for as long as possible in fortified positions stocked with supplies. With the Dutch poem “Wat gebeurt in Berchtesgaden?” (What is happening in Berchtesgaden?), Curt Bloch comments on this news. There is no hope that the “Third Reich government” can save their skins in the Alps. He wonders whether Hitler and his followers will be hanged or blow themselves up. Bloch concludes his text by saying that we will know soon enough.