Out of the Night
Pickle Partners Publishing, 2020 M01 30 - 724 pages
A bestseller in 1941, selected by the Book of the Month Club for a special edition and described by Book of the Month Club News as: “...full of sensational revelations and interspersed with episodes of daring, of desperate conflict, of torture, and of ruthless conspiracy...It is, first of all, an autobiography the like of which has seldom been.” The son of a seafaring father, Richard Julius Herman Krebs, a.k.a. Jan Valtin, came of age as a bicycle messenger during a maritime rebellion. His life as an intimate insider account of the dramatic events of 1920’s and 1930s, where he rose both within the ranks of the Communist Party and on the Gestapo hit list. Known for his honesty and incredible memory, Krebs dedicated his life to the Communist Party, rising to a position as head of maritime, organizing worldwide for the Comintern, only to flee the Party and Europe to evade his own comrade’s attempts to kill him. As a professional revolutionary, agitator, spy and would-be assassin, Krebs traveled the globe from Germany to China, India to Sierra Leon, Moscow to the United States where a botched assassination attempt landed him a stint in San Quentin. From his spellbinding account of artful deception to gain release from a Nazi prison and his work as a double-agent within the Gestapo, to his vivid depiction of a Communist Party fraught with intrigue and subterfuge, Krebs gives an unflinching portrayal of the internal machinations of both parties.
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At the slightest provocation he used to haul them across his desk, in front of a class of fifty, and flog them with a cane until they were unconscious. I became his frequent victim because my personal heroes were neither Bismarck ...
The latrines in the shipyards became the centers for clandestine revolutionary meetings. Desertions increased; sailors sold their uniforms and decamped inshore. Several ringleaders from the warships had been court-martialed and executed ...
When it was time to go to sleep he became afraid to stay; someone might have informed the police, he thought. I led him to the family of a friend on the other side of the river. This sailor slunk into a doorway or into a side street ...
Herrmann Kruse became known all along the Nitrate Coast as the “Commissar from Hamburg.” I deserted the ship at Antofagasta. Seven months I lingered on the Chile coast. Here I found a freedom I had not known in Europe.
More and more I became convinced that dedication to the revolution was the only worthwhile thing in life. “With us a man can find awareness of his own strength,” Zcympanski said. “He is no longer a homeless cur. A.
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The son of a seafaring father, Richard Julius Herman Krebs, a.k.a. Jan Valtin, came of age as a bicycle messenger during a maritime rebellion. His life as an intimate insider account of the dramatic ... Read full review
Book Two THE DANCE OF DARKNESS 141
Book Three THE NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES 295