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

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

WILLI BREDEL

was born in Hamburg in 1901, the son of a cigar worker. He attended public school until World War I when, in conditions of labor shortage, he became a metal worker. As an organizer of the metal workers, he was sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a demonstration in Hamburg during the inflation. After being pardoned and released in 1924 he worked on a labor paper, became a merchant seaman for a time, and then returned to the metal trades. In 1928 he was appointed editor of the Hamburger Volkszeitung. Articles published in this paper led to his conviction for 'high treason' by the Reich Supreme Court and a sentence of two years' fortress arrest. While a prisoner he completed a novel, Machine Shop N & K, the story of a Hamburg strike and its consequences. His writings resulted in a third prison sentence in 1932. He was still behind bars when Hitler came to power and upon completion of his sentence was transferred to Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp near Hamburg. He escaped from this camp in 1934 and reached Prague, where he lived until the outbreak of the Franco rebellion in Spain. While in Czechoslovakia he wrote The Inquisition, a novel of concentration camp life which was published throughout free Europe. Bredel fought on the side of the Spanish Republic as a member of the International Brigades. After the Franco victory he lived in France. When the Daladier government started to intern anti-Nazi refugees, Bredel escaped to Sweden by air and then went to the Soviet Union. He makes frequent broadcasts to German troops over the Russian radio, visits camps of German war prisoners, and is a member of the National Committee of Free Germany, which was organized in Moscow in July 1943.


LETTER FROM MOSCOW

by WILLI BREDEL.

Moscow, March-April 1942.

MY DEAR FRIENDS: After long silence, I send you my joyful greetings. So much has happened since we were together in Paris! We

-433-

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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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