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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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 ...
Three of us worked, and two stood at the corners watching for police. Twice police patrols surprised us. They came running, swinging their clubs. But we ran faster and escaped. “Some day,” the leader of the Young Communist group said, ...
Police. Sirens pierced the air. Three large trucks full of men in green uniforms clashed to a halt. Before they had stopped, a hundred policemen leaped to the pavement. They drew their rubber truncheons while they ran.
I spent the night in a dank police station in Cuxhaven. Next day a cold-eyed police judge sentenced me to seven days in jail for trespassing on the property of the Roland Line. I served the seven days in the Hamburg city jail.
He went to trial for having organized communist nuclei among the police. Before he went he gave me a message for his sister, who worked at the Hamburg telephone exchange. The message, in code, was written on a piece of toilet paper.
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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