Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

FRITZ GIGA

by ALFRED KANTOROWICZ

AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL ADVANCE on the Spanish southern front, in the Pozoblanco sector, the Battalions of the XIII International Brigade found themselves in the Sierra Mulva hills above the city of Penarroya. The town, in the neighborhood of important metal and coal mines, was stubbornly defended by the Fascists.

For those members of the Brigade who came from the north of Europe, the Scandinavians, Dutch, Flemish, Swiss, Germans, Austrians, Czechs, Poles and Alsatians--the Brigade counted 24 nationalities--the summer climate of this southern part of Spain, the swamp and malaria district of Estremadura, was hard to bear. The daily ration of water was only a liter, and the food was scant and poor. We suffered from hunger and thirst, from heat and the prevalence of insects. Many tool sick.

We looked forward to the evenings, which were a little cooler. After supper we sat on the grass or on stones around our quarters. One evening, we sat as usual, relaxed, because the moon had not yet come up and the sounds of motors which we could hear were not those of airplanes, but of trucks. We could see their far off lights winding over the hills.

A few feet away, the night watch were singing Spanish folk songs, under their breath. The guards paced up and down. We could see their shadows in the last light of the long summer day. Then suddenly someone approached us from the right. The guard called for his password: Unidos, he said, and the other answered as he was supposed to: Y Valiente!

It was an officer of the Spanish tank unit: three light tanks that had lain for weeks near us, ready for action. Every evening an officer came over to us to get the password of our sector for the next twenty-four hours. For the next day it was Bilboa--No paserán! Then the officer would ask the General for news. The General would answer indifferently, in a deep voice, Sin novedad--'Nothing new,' and with a mumbled Salud the officer would disappear into the darkness again. It would then be exactly 10 o'clock.

-406-

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Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Book One - Iron Cross 1
  • Order of the Crown, Fourth Class 26
  • Into the Abyss 43
  • Verdun 57
  • The Judgment 73
  • On Leave 79
  • Letters from Prison 83
  • Homecoming 104
  • Book Two - Reluctant Republic 111
  • The Ninth of November 115
  • 'Groener Speaking . . .' 121
  • The Spartacus Manifesto 126
  • Our New Masters 133
  • The Constitution of the German Reich Of 11 August 1919 142
  • Look Through the Bars 157
  • Black Armies 169
  • Fever Dance 185
  • Adventure in a Beer Hall 201
  • The Way of the New Germany 217
  • A Laborer in Leuna 229
  • Lampion's Reply 237
  • A Fairy Tale for Christmas 244
  • The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 257
  • My Personal and Financial Relations With the Nazi Party 261
  • The Landslide 270
  • These Literary Anti-Semites 289
  • Invaders and Exiles 302
  • Book Three - Crooked Cross 311
  • Fire in Leipzig 315
  • 'Peaceful Night, Holy Night . . .' 331
  • Family Portrait 342
  • The Age of the Fish 352
  • An Exchange of Letters 370
  • Who Shall Tell Us Today 377
  • Hans Zauner Becomes a Soldier 382
  • Fritz Giga 406
  • Shelter 423
  • The Ballad of the German Soldier's Bride 432
  • Letter from Moscow 433
  • Self-Bondage 452
  • The Blossoming to Come 457
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Bibliography 465
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