Special Edition, July 1944

Introduction to the content

The month of publication of this OWC magazine can be determined but not the exact date; Curt Bloch only wrote “July 1944” on the Table of Content’s page. [July 18, 1944, is therefore a date arbitrarily chosen to include the issue in the overall overview.] It is marked as a “special edition” and is, with 40 pages, by far the most extensive work. Another peculiarity is its content: Bloch includes poems that have either already appeared in earlier editions in almost unchanged form or will be published in magazines a little later in  the summer of 1944. It’s a kind of “best of.”

Thanks for Illustrated Magazines (see No. 35, August 9, 1944) go to Bloch’s supporters who regularly supply him with magazines. Possibly, the OWC special edition was specifically made for these individuals.

The Corked Story (see No. 39, August 23, 1944) was inspired by an advertisement from a champagne company complaining about the cork shortage in Germany. Bloch comments that one cannot toast to victory without champagne.

In Small Reply to XXX, Curt Bloch addresses Martin van Nierop, a NSB member and editor-in-chief of the Twentsch Nieuwsblad. He signed his contributions with a triple X, hence the name “Driekruis” (three crosses). Not without pride, Bloch points out that van Nierop personally replied to him in the newspaper. Bloch had submitted the poem under his pseudonym Cor(nelis) B(reedenb)eek.

As a reporter for his Underwater-Cabaret, Bloch conducts an Interview with Stalin, who refuses to commit to a specific end-of-war date. (Both poems also appear in issue 33 of July 29, 1944.)

Invasion Francs (see No. 30, July 8, 1944) adorn the cover of the magazine. The term refers to a special currency used by the Allies to pay for goods in France.

Curt Bloch comments on The New German Frugality (see No. 17, April 22, 1944) with many newspaper clippings. The advertisements make it clear in which areas people need to ration themselves, due to the war.

Max Blokzijl, a National Socialist press overseer and propagandist, gives a radio speech titled It is going well! (see No. 30, July 4, 1944). Curt Bloch does not share this optimism, partly because hundreds of thousands of radios have been confiscated by the German occupiers. It may be going well, he thinks, but certainly not for Blokzijl.

In the last years of the war, fuel is scarce. Curt Bloch considers the extraction of gasoline from fecal residues as a Cunning Solution (see No. 13, March 25, 1944). This way, you can “drive a car from the sweat of your behind.”