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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With five other boys I was ordered to proceed to the central savings bank on Kaiser Street. We were to serve as dispatch riders between the bank and the Weser Shipyards in the west. Three of our courier group deserted at once.
... a police officer ordered me to leave Hamburg immediately. “We want no vagrants in this town,” he said. “Who, indeed,” I thought, “is making vagrants out of us?” I went to see Zcympanski's sister. She was a handsome.
Albert Walter ordered me to join one of the communist “activist” brigades in the harbor of Hamburg. Each month about a thousand ships entered this port, for the bulk of German exports and imports went through the docks of Hamburg.
Invariably I received next day a brief note and a ten-dollar bill; the note ordered me to shun in future all contacts with the respective seamen. For many months the nature of “Meyer's” schemes remained a deep mystery as far as I was ...
The G.P.U. ordered him to pack up and go to the Soviet Union. Bomos-Meyer refused. He was then denounced to the German police. He and ten of his collaborators were seized and sent to jail. The Party ordered me to take a sailor's berth ...
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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