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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A worker, young and lean, with the five-point star, the emblem of the Communist Party, on his blue cap, sprang on a bitt and shouted: “Down with the police. Down with the lackeys of capitalism. Throw them into the harbor!
Should we succeed in making harbors and ships into fortresses of the Communist Party— we've got that jugular vein in our grip. We can break it and the bourgeoisie will bleed to death. You'll report to Comrade Walter.
This system, known as the “Hamburg method,” was later adopted by communist waterfront organizations on all continents. I pitched into Party work with a high fervor. Nothing mattered outside the communist offensive.
The breathtaking collapse of currency, the rapid disintegration of the anti-communist trade unions, the growing demoralization of the middle class and the spontaneous influx of large numbers of desperate and rebellious young workers ...
Communist military units engaged the police to allow the mass of agitators to penetrate the harbor from all sides. We overran the gangway guards and told the seamen to strike or to suffer a strikebreaker's fate.
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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