Two times during the forenoon I made the journey between the bank and the shipyard with a scrawled report of the comrade in charge of defending the entrance of Kaiser Street, a thoroughfare that led from the river to the central railway station. At that time the western portion of the town was still outside the zone of fighting. Barricaded stores, shattered windows, patches of pavement torn up and heaped to form barricades were landmarks all along the route. There seemed nothing more to do after the second trip. Since I had never been inside of a bank I proceeded to explore the building.
Not a window was intact. Doors had been broken. Desks, chairs, filing cabinets and rugs were piled up against the windows, ready to be hurled on the heads of attackers in the street below. At some of the windows snipers were at work. No one stopped me; any spy of the counter forces could have walked into the building to reconnoiter the forces of the defenders. Finally I came to rest in a large room on the top floor. There was a machine gun firing from the largest window. Two sailors and a youth about my own age served it. By this time the whole city reverberated with the sounds of battle.
Snipers fired at soldiers crawling over distant housetops. The field pieces along the river roared intermittently. Men were shooting from speeding lorries and from doorways. Several houses were afire. Down in the Brill inquisitive pedestrians ran for their lives. I saw them leap from doorway to doorway, while others came simultaneously across the roofs and garden fringes.
From half a mile off they looked like animated toy soldiers; in reality they were veterans of the Western Front. The thumping of the mines increased. The southern bridge-head of the Kaiser bridge swarmed suddenly with field-gray shapes under steel helmets. At the window the machine gun jammed. A sailor turned and said, "Hang on now, the comrades are blowing up the bridges.
The Noske guards stormed the bridge. As they ran, they shouted. And abruptly the machine guns opened in merciless bursts. I saw many soldiers fall. Death was commonplace. That day it evoked in me no other emotion than would a fascinating show. An instant later we all ran from the building in a panic. The thunder of exploding hand-grenades was less than two hundred yards away. Shells exploding in the air ripped chunks of rock out of the towers of the cathedral.
Angry shouts went up. But there was a hideous confusion. A rumor spread that Knief, the revolutionary teacher, and Fraczunkovitz, the hunchback, had escaped by plane. Dead men sprawled grotesquely here and there, and in many places the snow was splotched with blood. I reached the moat, a natural line of defense encircling the inner city.
It too had been deserted. After three days of wandering I reached Hamburg. From the railway station I wrote a postcard to my mother to assure her that I was alive. She wired me what little money she managed to scrape up. Next day she arrived in Hamburg, looking like a ghost.
Finally she said, "But our country has no ships. They were all taken by the British. When the train moved out of the Hamburg station I saw her standing at the window, frail, shabby, sad and invincibly loyal. For weeks I haunted the waterfront, but the great seaport was a sleeping giant. Except for coastal trade and a few food ships from America, the Hamburg harbor was dead.
The British blockade was still in force, although it was months after the signing of the Armistice. It was springtime in Versailles, too, where the peace that was to haunt the world was being perfected. I would awake hungry, and was still hungry when I went to sleep. Hunger wiped out the lines between adolescents and full-grown men. A sack of flour was worth more than a human life. When a fruit cart of a peasant from Vierlanden was turned over in the street and a middle-aged man tried to shoulder me aside in the scramble for the winter apples, what else was there to do but to stand up and hit him in the face?
I was in my fifteenth year. I took part in the plundering of a wholesale fish store in Altona. Tons of fish were dumped on the cobblestones, and people grabbed the fish and ran. When a policeman interfered, what else was there to do but to slam a ten-pound codfish into his face? When one is thrown adrift in a polluted stream, with no dry land in sight, what escape is there? I took no active part in the political riots of this Hamburg spring, but my heart was with the revolutionary workers, perhaps because it was their side which always lost in the end.
Whenever I saw a policeman level his rifle against a civilian, I felt the same hatred as at the sight of a teamster cruelly mistreating his emaciated horse. Each day armed workers skirmished with the police. Night after night the sounds of desultory firing echoed over the city. Yet the news that a trawler loaded with flounders or herring was steaming up the river moved the people more than stumbling against a dead man in the gutter, or encountering a lorry piled high with crude coffins, or coming upon a barricade manned by a few determined-looking youths.
I hunted for food and work. But the struggle to conquer and defend power seemed the essence of life. In the Grenzfass , a large beer hall in the St. Of medium height, slight of build, with a mop of almost colorless hair, his pale eyes gleaming with reckless deviltry, he was no more than twenty-two or -three at the time.
The hall was full of workless dockers. There was a thunder of cheers. A delegation of the Communist Party of Germany was scheduled to go to Moscow at a time when Russia was closed to the West by the civil war. The faithful shipping master Wolfert, through his acquaintance with former sailship masters, at last found me a ship.
The ship hulked gray and mournful at her wharf, her flanks covered with creeping rust. The thought of being able to make my living on the good clean sea made me weep with joy. The ship was bound for South America. She was loaded with crews who were to man and bring home the large fleet of German vessels marooned in the ports of Chile and Peru during the war. Scores of the nearly four hundred who were signed had been among the mutineers of the Imperial navy; scores of others had never been aboard a ship before; once at sea none manifested the slightest intention of bringing German ships back home, or of ever returning to Germany.
The ship was infested with stowaways. Three boatloads of them were returned to shore off Cuxhaven. All of them were transferred to homebound fishermen. But many others, found later, remained aboard. Gangs of hoodlums assaulted and robbed the more prosperous voyagers. One old man was found with his throat cut. Another elderly man put on holiday clothes and at sunrise jumped into the ocean.
Elsewhere conditions bordering on madness reigned. Off the Azores, however, such leadership as there could be fell to a man named Herrmann Kruse. He formed a ship Tcheka, and by sheer terror subdued all independent marauders in our midst. Kruse, about twenty-five years old, was blond, bearish, quick-tempered, and had a flair for oratory. He brought some order out of the confusion and now he demanded control of the ship. Most of the time the steam was kept low, and at times the ship wallowed helplessly without steam at all.
I have a cargo of lunatics," our skipper answered. But the officers succeeded, despite all difficulties, in bringing the vessel to Colon. One faction on board planned to scuttle the ship in the Panama Canal, to desert, and to walk through the jungles to Mexico or the United States. Herrmann Kruse and his guerrillas, armed with clubs and belaying pins, opposed this. After that, we were to steam for the Galapagos Islands, establish a Soviet Republic, and ask Moscow for protection, supplies and women. Opposing factions shrieked their protest.
Down with Galapagos! We land right here! In defiance of Kruse, "debarkation squads" were hastily formed as we steamed through the Canal. The rush to reach a shore that looked inviting from a little way off was contagious. As a matter of course, I joined one of the squads. We packed our belongings, put on life preservers, and lined up along the rail for the plunge.
The captain shouted from the bridge for us to desist, but he was greeted with laughter. Group after group heaved their bundles overboard and jumped after them. The Canal waters were soon dotted with swimming men. I, too, jumped. I felt the water rush upward, smooth and warm, and then I swam for dear life, pushing with all my strength to get away from the deadly propeller. Several of my fellow-deserters were cut to shreds. The shore was much farther away than it had seemed from the ship. Close behind me, as I swam, struggled a middle-aged shoemaker. The ground was soggy, and the underbrush dense.
But we pushed forward. Soon we came on four other deserters, and the six of us proceeded in single file, carrying our water-soaked bundles and streaming with perspiration. Our leader was a stoker who had once served on Amazon River steamboats. Sometimes the underbrush was so thick that we could not penetrate it; at other times we were confronted with swamps which seemed to stretch out for miles. Once in a while the Amazon River stoker climbed a tree to look around.
All he could report was jungle all around, a few hills, and steamers passing in the Canal. The passing steamers looked as if they were threading their way through the treetops. After walking in circles for four or five hours, we struck a lake. We tried to skirt the shore of the lake, but soon ran into swamps. The Amazon River stoker cursed almost without interruption. The shoemaker chattered happily.
Suddenly our leader halted. Ahead of us was a railroad embankment, neat, compact, dry. We opened our bundles and spread the wet things over the tracks: shirts, pants, papers, tobacco. The stoker sent one man a hundred yards in each direction to watch for oncoming trains.
We stripped off our clothes and spread them out to dry. We munched bananas and relaxed in the sun. Our hopes rose. The shoemaker wanted to ride the next train into Panama City. He was anxious to start himself in business without loss of time. It was agreed that the men who stood guard on both sides of the tracks should whistle when a train approached.
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But when a train came from the Atlantic side, the guard did not whistle. Naked, his pants and shirt jammed under his arm, he came running toward us down the tracks. Behind him rumbled the train. It was too late to save our things. Our leader yelled, "All hands take cover. The train ran over our belongings. Then it stopped. Men in khaki uniforms jumped from the train, and began to comb the jungle.
Stellahaus Hamburg, Germany Stock Photo: - Alamy
I crawled through broad-leaved bushes, moving on hands and knees, and when I rose I confronted a grinning soldier. All my companions had been caught. I put on a shirt which had been cut under the armpits by the train, and a pair of trousers which had but one leg. My comrades did not look much better. We were herded into the train and taken to a station. From there we were marched to a police post. The Americans treated us hospitably.
They fed us and plied us with cigarettes. Before nightfall we were all loaded into a motor launch and returned to the Lucy , which was anchored in Panama Bay. The ship weighed anchor and shaped a course down the west coast of South America, calling at Callao and ports to the south.
There were strikes, arrests by the Chilean police, jail breaks. Seven months I lingered on the Chile coast. Here I found a freedom I had not known in Europe. The world of political strife, of cold and hunger, seemed as distant as Saturn. Employers and officials asked neither for references nor for papers of identification. After that job gave out, a labor agent of Antofagasta recruited me for the Chuqui copper mines high up in the barren Andes. My work was that of a splicer of wire cables and my pay was high beyond all expectation—ten pesos a day, for good splicers were rare.
Life in the mining camps was rough, particularly after paydays when gambling bouts frequently ended in a flash of knives. Much of the bestiality was due to the absence of women; all but the hardiest prostitutes from the coast shunned the trade with the rabble of the Chuqui mines. The vision of a Chilean girl, Carmencita, with whom I had become friendly, drew me back to the coast. I arrived in Antofagasta on a copper train, with more than three hundred pesos in my pockets, only to find that Carmencita had become the companion of a jobless Norwegian second mate.
I traveled south as a deck passenger aboard a slow coastwise steamer, and after a few aimless days in Valparaiso, I decided to visit the nearby capital, Santiago de Chile. Here I found work in a candle factory under a domineering British foreman. It was inside work which I detested heartily. In a cafe I met a young American who had come from Argentina and spoke enthusiastically about the lusty life in Buenos Aires.
Next day I threw up my job of packing candles and bought a trans-Andean railway ticket to Buenos Aires. I arrived in the La Plata metropolis with two pesos and sixty centavos. After three days of dodging the energetic carabineros , I signed on as a full-fledged sailor aboard the barque Tiljuca , a supply ship for the Norwegian and British whaling bases on the Antarctic island of South Georgia, and manned entirely by Russians and Germans. Toughened as I was, compared with the toughness of the Tiljuca tars, I was a mere infant. One of them ate his salt pork, seasoned with tobacco, raw.
Another answered a letter from his mother, imploring him to come home after so many years, by writing that he would come home as soon as he had found someone rich enough to be killed for his money. They gloried in their toughness. Perhaps only that combination of life on the Buenos Aires Boca and on the forbidding Antarctic seas is able to produce such types. I left the Tiljuca on her return to Buenos Aires for trampship journeys under the flags of Britain, Norway and Greece which landed me in the fall of in the negro quarter of Galveston, Texas.
I was seventeen. The black folk were friendly to me. An elderly master painter treated me as if I had been his son until, by a stroke of luck, I found a berth on what, I believe, was the finest and largest sailing ship afloat at that time. It was the Magdalene Vinnen , a four-masted barque, which eventually brought me back to Chile. One of my shipmates had broken a leg off Tierra del Fuego.
The captain of our ship refused to have the injured man transferred to a hospital. There was a near mutiny on board in which I had a hand. Christmas Eve of found me celebrating with other stranded sailors on the green lawns of Plaza Colon, toasting Mrs. Bready, the chesty female shipping master of Nitrate Coast, who generously had supplied a keg of wine. For a fee of six pounds sterling Mrs. Bready found me a berth aboard an ancient barque, the Obotrita , Captain Dietrich, bound with nitrate around Cape Horn to Hull, England.
I paid off in Hull in the early spring of From there I bought passage to Hamburg. But the minute I set foot on German soil, I found myself sucked back into a whirlpool of hate and distress even more fierce than the one I had left. I found that my family, my mother and the three younger children, stripped by the cyclonic inflation, badly needed what little money I had.
I saw an aged woman standing at a curb, burning thousand-mark bills, and cackling at the silently watching crowd. The country was sick. During my years at sea, which had almost made me forget the old hates, my country had had no peace. In , the militarists under Kapp had struck at the Weimar Republic. Ministers of the Republic had been assassinated. In , armed insurrections in Saxony and Thuringia had been crushed without mercy.
In January, , French and Belgian armies had invaded the Ruhr to enforce payment of war reparations. Separatist bands rioted in the Rhineland. Inflation stalked the land with giant strides. Foreign scavengers descended upon Germany in droves, exchanging for a pittance the products of native toil. Prices leaped ahead of wages in a mad dance. Between the city of Hamburg and its great harbor flows the river Elbe. I was at the ferry landing when the thousands of dockers returned from work. On the ferry landing stood a squad of customs officials and harbor police.
Each worker, before he was allowed to pass, was searched for contraband by the officers. A policeman held the bag with flour aloft. You fellows rip open the bags with your hooks. Come on, now. The worker tore himself free. A scuffle ensued. Another stevedore stepped in. Give him his flour back. Keep moving. The policemen drew their rubber truncheons, formed a skirmish line, drove the workers back from the wharf. 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! That night, on my way to the dingy room I had rented in a tenement in the waterfront district, I was accosted by two women. One was about forty, the other barely over sixteen. The older woman tugged at my sleeve and said, "You have a good face.
Please help us. He had helped blow up a railway line to prevent shipment of German coal to France. He had been arrested, convicted to twelve years of penal servitude by a military court, and had been carried off into France. His family had been told to leave the zone of occupation within twelve hours. Their house and their garden were seized.
They had wandered for weeks, pushed on from town to town by unwilling authorities. The older woman was terribly emaciated. I thought of giving her some money, but then I remembered that the stores were closed, that the hotels demanded foreign currency, that the money would be useless. It was German money. The woman said: "My daughter can sleep with you in the bed and I will sleep on the floor. In their home town they had been respectable people. I looked at the girl.
I thought of their man languishing in some distant French prison. He had blown up a railway. 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. The leader of the group brought his face close to mine. He seemed satisfied. For two hours I helped the young workers put up posters. Very little was said. 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.
Ten dead policemen for every dead worker. We parted. All night I walked aimlessly through cold streets. Near the Sternschanze Station I passed a house in front of which stood an ambulance. Attendants carried an old woman out of the house. The old woman was dead. The man raised his right fist. In the gray of early dawn I found myself in an outlying section where long streets were lined with drab one-family houses which resembled one another like so many eggs in a box.
In front of the stores, at the street corners, women began to line up. They shivered in the cold and counted the paper in their hands. They counted hundreds of thousands, millions. They were determined to be first to spend this money when the stores opened. As it grew lighter I came to a house where a town official argued heatedly with a housewife. The housewife looked unhappy. She had her arm tightly around the shoulder of a boy about ten. At the curb stood a truck. Two sinewy truckmen were waiting. I stopped and listened to the argument. The woman could not pay her rent.
The official showed her a warrant of eviction. Every day there were mass evictions. To attract the least attention, they were carried through in the early morning hours. He pushed the woman aside and entered the house, and the two truckmen followed him. A minute later they began loading the furniture into the truck. A passing man who carried a big bundle of newspapers under his arm halted and asked the woman: "An eviction? He placed his newspapers on the sidewalk and ran to the nearest store. In less than ten minutes the truck was loaded and the truckmen were tightening the ropes around their load.
At this moment a column of roughly-clad men swept around the corner on bicycles. All of them had the red five-pointed star on blue caps. The truckmen, seeing the raiders approach, stood aside. The official came running out of the house. The others leaped from their bicycles, cut the ropes on the truck. Each of them seized a piece of furniture and carried it back into the house.
Two minutes later the truck drove away, empty, and the official had fled. People gathered. The men of the Red Self-Help formed a picket line in front of the house. Others marched along the street, shouting in chorus: "Refuse to pay rent to the landlords! Three blocks away I saw a lorry loaded with green-uniformed Security Police speed past me down the street. I wanted to ship out, to get away, to go back to the far seas.
I made the rounds of the British and Scandinavian shipping masters. They had no ship for me. Their offices were besieged by stranded foreign seamen. I walked through a filthy backyard and up a flight of iron steps. The shipping office was a dark, gloomy hall. Thousands of men lounged in the backyard and in the hall. All seamen out of a job. I went to one of the barred windows and threw in my papers. The clerk looked at them, shoved them back. I want a ship. This is a German shipping office. Any ship. An equal deal to everybody.
And I tell you this man will be registered. Smash your cocoanut, too, for that matter. Remember how we smashed the other one? He went into a private office and returned with the director. The director looked like a walrus. His name was Captain Brahms. By that time hundreds of men stood packed around the window. Loud calls burst from the charivari of voices. Captain Brahms walked calmly to a telephone. He called the police. Eight or ten men had seized one of the heavy benches and used it as a ramming pole. The clerks fortified themselves behind their desks which they hastily pushed together.
Outside, from the yard, rocks hurtled through the windows. The stoker roared: "Down with the special lists! Abolish secret placement! Down with the hunger regime!
Industry Addresses in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein
A score of sailors raised havoc with furniture and files. Others pounced on the clerks who defended themselves with broken-off chair legs. Captain Brahms crawled under a table. The thousands in the hall and down in the yard milled about, laughing, shouting, cursing. In the center of the hall a group of fifty men stood massed, yelling in chorus: "Hunger!
We want a ship! 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. They pitched into the crowds, dealing vicious blows left and right. Those who resisted were handcuffed and led to the trucks. A policeman had lost his footing on the stairs. Four, five seamen were on top of him, hitting, kicking, robbing him of his truncheon and pistol. In the yard a young policeman ran to the shelter of a doorway.
He drew his pistol and took careful aim. An instant later a youngster in a gray sweater spun around and pitched on his face. There was a thousandfold howl of rage. They were nervous and badly scared. Voices barked: "Strasse frei! Es wird geschossen! Women, appearing from nowhere, shouted abuse. Others threw garbage cans from windows at pursuing policemen. Half-stunned, I made my way to the Cathedral of St. Beside me walked an old mariner. He was serene, as if nothing had happened. Shall I run away from this diseased country?
Or shall I join the forces which are actively attacking the wrongs that made my blood rebel? One road tempted me with the free and happy countries I had seen during my seafaring years. The other filled me with the fervor and the high expectations of revolutionary youth. I felt a strangulating loneliness. I yearned for a place where I could belong. In a waterfront tavern I studied the Shipping News. There was a steamer of the Roland Line leaving at five for Panama and Valparaiso.
The very names of those ports conjured up before me vistas of high coast-lines, of warmth and abundance, of laughing brown-eyed girls, and of jobs under foreign flags or in the copper mines, of jobs with decent wages and with promise for the future. I decided to go. With the last of my money I filled a satchel with food—biscuits, sardines, corned beef and a bottle of water, and crossed the river to the India Docks. The steamer was loaded. The longshoremen were closing the hatches, and the deckhands were busy lowering the derricks. In an unguarded moment I slipped aboard and ran forward to hide.
I climbed into the chain locker, closing the manhole above me. The bulkheads were damp and rusty. Beneath me tons of ponderous chain were curled up like iron snakes. A smell of mud and bilge water filled the place. I heard the siren roar, muffled commands, the loud tramping of many feet, the rumbling of winches. Then the whole ship vibrated as the engines began to turn over. We were outbound. In two or three days the ship would have cleared the English Channel and I could come on deck and report myself as a stowaway to the captain.
Somewhere in the river estuary the steamer ran into a fog. I knew it by the roar of the siren which came at steady two-minute intervals. Three, four times the siren roared. The vibration in the bulkheads ceased. The engines were stopped. I heard the patter of feet on the forecastle head. It was followed by the clashing sound of metal striking metal. Suddenly I realized: the fog was too dense for the ship to proceed and the pilot had decided to anchor until the weather cleared.
A clear voice rang above me: "All clear anchor! Stand by to let go! Man below! Help, help! A young officer came rushing down from the forecastle head. Seeing me, he shouted: "Any more of you bums down there? All around was soupy fog. From near and far sounded the sirens of other ships groping in the fog. My knees trembled as the officer led me up to the bridge. 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. The jail was overcrowded with workers of all ages caught stealing on the wharves, in railroad yards and warehouses, or surprised by police in the act of plundering food stores. Among my fellow prisoners was a communist agitator, a thin young man whose name was Willy Zcympanski. A fanatic fire burned in his gray eyes. Seeing my eagerness, he singled me out for special attention.
His explosive enthusiasm was contagious. The clear sincerity of his devotion thrilled me. More and more I became convinced that dedication to the revolution was the only worthwhile thing in life. A man is born to fight. Soviet Germany and Soviet Russia will be invincible together. No nobler aim is possible. To achieve it, no sacrifice can be too great.
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. He also gave me a ragged little book, urging me to pass it on before my release. It was the Communist Manifesto.
I did not see Zcympanski again until By then he had become one of the most efficient operatives of the Foreign Division of the G. Loyal to the last, he committed suicide in a Nazi prison in When I was released, a police officer ordered me to leave Hamburg immediately. She was a handsome blonde of twenty-five, tall and intelligent. Her name was Erika. Immediately she invited me to the first hot bath I had had in weeks. The fact that I had brought her a message from her brother made her regard me as a comrade.
The sound of the word comrade, coming from her lips, made my blood leap. Her warm, yet practical simplicity aroused my trust and admiration. I found in her a trait which is characteristic of many honest revolutionists: a fundamental kindliness and compassion side by side with a cruel disregard for the lives of all who actively opposed the interests of the revolution. On the walls were a portrait of Lenin and the picture of a young mother nursing her child. I nodded. Beneath the pictures low shelves were crowded with books.
When I did not read, I prepared a frugal meal over the tiny gas range, and then I slept. After three days of it, I craved motion. The Communist Party had called the unemployed masses to a demonstration which was to take place that night. These were the trained Party members. They came with short pieces of lead pipe in their belts and stones bulging in their pockets. They did not hide their intention of coming to grips with the police.
Torches cast flickering lights over the swelling crowds. A whistle shrilled and the crowds began to move forward behind gray-uniformed military detachments of the Party. We were now skirting the inner city. All streets leading toward the center were blocked by police. Searchlights fingering over hundreds of crimson flags; sudden fanfares, and the gleaming reflections of torches on steel helmets imparted a strong macabre effect to the whole. And suddenly, after a muffled and manifold repeated command, the head of the demonstration swung toward the banned ground of the inner city.
Immediately the police pitched in. The pace of the masses slowed down. Men in the gray uniforms of the Red Front League pressed forward to assault and break up the police phalanx into small isolated groups. Then twittering sounds pierced the night. Flying squads of the police, emerging from side streets where they had been lurking, drove wedges into the flanks of the demonstration. Clear the streets! Tumult ensued. Rocks flew. Clubs cracked. Throngs ran from pursuing policemen, only to reassemble and return to the fray as soon as their pursuers had turned for a sally in another direction.
The intimidating psychological effect which police uniforms usually have on a nondescript mass of rioters vanishes when the rioters discover that even a well-armed policeman is no match for a score of bare fists at close quarters. At times I saw young workers with the red five-pointed star on their caps jab their pocket knives into the legs of police horses. Invariably the horses reared and bolted. In the end, we were scattered. The battlefield was littered with caps, torn clothing, broken glass, police helmets.
With a horde of several hundred men and women I wandered toward the Aussenalster, a residential section of the well-to-do. The flags had disappeared. The bandsmen, to save their instruments, had long since gone home. A ragged, wild-eyed assembly of scarecrows, we roved up and down the broad, clean residential streets, yelling in unison. A single howl out of a hundred throats plunged whole blocks into darkness. Once in a while a police truck sped around a corner, siren yelling, and cursing men leaped to the pavement amid the screaming of brakes.
Instead of bread we got beatings. After all, it was what we had asked for. Toward midnight we parted, tired, bruised, and hoarse from shouting. I turned up the collar of my coat, for it was bitingly cold. I had lost my cap in the brawling. My overcoat was in a pawnshop. As I passed the railway station, a young woman walked beside me. She was older than I; twenty-eight, perhaps. She buried her hands in her armpits and whistled a song. You are a comrade, nicht wahr? I have not slept with a man for ages. She nodded. Two days after taking part in the hunger demonstration, in the second week of May, , I joined the Communist Party.
Early in the morning I went to the Red House in Hamburg. A short, wiry man with strong eyebrows and a salient jaw received me, and asked a few pointed questions. It developed that he had known my father during the wartime underground work of the Spartacists in the Fleet. Considering me a very fit and reliable recruit, he signed me up at once. We believe in youth, bold, disciplined youth. Action means strikes. Mass strikes are the prelude to armed insurrection. Is that clear to you? Comrade Walter handles that.
So shipping is a jugular vein of German capitalism. We can break it and the bourgeoisie will bleed to death. Bronzed, barrel-chested, he had a massive forehead, mobile features, and his small brown eyes seemed always on the alert.
Synonyms and antonyms of Lehrausbilderin in the German dictionary of synonyms
He was in his late thirties, and had lived for fifteen years the life of a professional seaman. After his release he made his way to Moscow where Lenin made him a political commissar in the Baltic fleet. The communists being entrenched more solidly in Hamburg than in any other great seaport, Hamburg became the center for Comintern enterprises in the all-important marine industry.
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. In the river basins along the Elbe flew the flags of every maritime nation on earth. Each morning the harbor "activists" gathered on various concentration points along the waterfront.
There the leader of each brigade assigned his men to certain docks and ships, and supplied them with leaflets and pamphlets, and with the slogans of the day. So armed, we slipped into the harbor and boarded the ships and set out to win over their crews. Most ships were guarded by officers or company watchmen, and a wide range of dodges and tricks had to be employed to board the ships in spite of the guards. Often we swarmed aboard over the hawsers. At times we slunk aboard disguised as hawkers of neckties or as laundrymen. We distributed our leaflets, sold newspapers and pamphlets, launched discussions, and endeavored to enlist the young militants among the crews in the Communist Party.
Wherever a crew was receptive to our agitation, we went on to form an action committee on the ship to prepare for coming strikes, or to build up the Party unit among the men, or to pick particularly able individuals for courier service and other confidential work. Returning ashore at the end of the day, each "activist" wrote a detailed report on the ships he had visited that day.
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. And in the evenings there were meetings and discussion circles and political courses to attend which rarely broke up before midnight. I had no thought of clothes, amusements or girls. I felt myself a living wheel in the Party machine. I grew leaner, harder, and was supremely happy.
Among the innovations which I introduced was a method of work whereby the most active communists on each ship pledged themselves to engage in propaganda drives among the crews of other German ships in foreign ports of call. At one of the next conferences of the "activist" brigades I gave a detailed report of my experiments which met with acclaim.
Up to then I had been classed as an agitator; I was now accepted as an organizer. Some fifty ships manned by more than two thousand seamen came into the category. That night I was so elated I could not sleep! All night I made plans—I thought of the fifty ships as my ships. Such responsibility was sweet. Doris Rawolle, Wolfgang Stephan, Rolf Schlegel, Rolf Leimbach, Sie wird dem Film von der Entstehung des Porzellans bis zum fertigen Produkt ihre Mit dabei sind v.
Schon nach dem Lehrausbilderin Gudrun Glander arbeitet nun schon seit dem Jahr als Kinderkrankenschwester im Hagenower Krankenhaus. September den ersten Auszubildenden. Verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet? Lehrausbilderin [online]. German words that begin with l. German words that begin with le. German words that begin with leh. Load a random word.