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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... walls, “Destroy the November Criminals.” Squads of workers tore them off. Tired horses, abandoned by the troops, were butchered at night in the streets by flocks of determined women. In January, 1919, disunity led to open battle.
Scores of bicycles leaned against the walls. Firearms were stacked near the doors. On heaps of straw people snored or conversed in whispers. Big pots of bad coffee steamed on kerosene stoves. It was still dark when we were roused.
In such times, it seemed to me, the best thing one could do would be to blow up the whole world. I told the women to use the bed. Then I walked down to the street. There a group of young workers were busy pasting posters on the walls.
workers were busy pasting posters on the walls. “Communism alone brings national and social freedom,” the posters said. “Can I help you?” I asked. The leader of the group brought his face close to mine. He seemed satisfied.
On the walls were a portrait of Lenin and the picture of a young mother nursing her child. “Do you like to read?” she asked me. I nodded. Beneath the pictures low shelves were crowded with books. “Revolution is a science,” she smiled.
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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