Jan Valtin was the alias of Richard Julius Hermann Krebs, a German writer during the interwar period. He settled to the United States in , and in 23 Nov Out of the Night will be misused in many quarters. Jan Valtin came of age as a bicycle messenger during a Communist uprising on the. 28 Sep I doubt whether anyone could be found who would seriously claim that the contents of Jan Valtin’s Out of the Night were not to be treated with.
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Regardless of your politics, the story of Valtin’s life is a compelling adventure story and if started, I guarantee you will finish all of the pages. It comes only as a result of years of gruelling, unswerving political struggle against terrible obstacles and the most powerful enemies.
This is horrifying material, related by a man who survived through ordeals most Americans cannot imagine enduring. He describes the atmosphere as one of constant suspicion where all of his former close knit comrades not denounced and gathered information on each other. Both parties work together against democracy and socialism before contending with each other.
We have seen this again and again: 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 jwn intrigue and subterfuge, Krebs gives an unflinching portrayal of the internal machinations of both parties.
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A young sailor and participant in the German revolution of and the lesser-known Hamburg uprising of October becomes an agent of the Comintern, rising to high-level positions in the Maritime Division. Without accusation or indeed clear explanation of any philosophies or analyses, nigjt story describes literally hour by hour the movement of the whirl- pool which is destroying him.
He was active in many parts of the world, including the Pacific coast of the United States. Driven by belief in world revolution, Valtin crisscrosses the globe and takes part in endless adventures and conspiracies, his faith challenged only by his love for his companion Firelei. Originally, they had gravitated toward communism Bolshevism but instead of Bolsheviks they became demoralized agents and dupes of the GPU Stalinism.
While I can’t envy you in your experiences, I can congratulate you on your writing success, and can feel like a prophet. nigt
Full text of “The truth about Jan Valtin.”
Dec 27, Gerald Ocker rated it it was amazing. Details “This is a historical document of the first rank, a biography, an adventure story, and in places, so it seems, a brisk novel.
Many people–especially those coming of age after the Cold War–have probably This book, published inwas a national best seller and generated a lot of sparks in the international communist world.
Having checked out a hefty edition from the library, I really felt connected to the fascinating period of history recounted in this jann.
This man obeyed an organization soulless to the core in its incredible demands upon those who yielded themselves to it. Nightocelot rated it did not like it Jan 15, This book, published inwas a national best seller and generated a lot of sparks in the international communist world.
I would like to hear from you. But I have checked as many of his stories as pos- sible against my own experience and information, and I have found him correct wherever I could check up, and that is no little. I remember very well the incident in Norway which Valtin describes as hav- ing taken place when he brought German-built ships nigght Murmansk on his short career as a skipper. Kf this is a book by a man who experienced from the inside the dominant isms—communism, socialism, national socialism.
But this does not happen overnight, nor by wishful thinking.
Nearly at tears as I nigth the last thr of this book, I was overcome not with the certainty that anarchists have some solutions or answers to offer the proponents of authoritarian organizations, han that their is a real and profound tragedy in the world for which our ideals offer little comfort.
Here in solemn simple truth is what happens to a man, when he gives up the independence of his soul to any organization which demands subjection from him. Apr 27, Yves Panis rated it it was amazing. He worked as a seaman untilwhen he was arrested and tortured, and acted as a witness for prosecution in a trial that brought to the conviction of a fellow German seaman accused of treason.
I came to America to elude the assassins of Hitler and Stalin, to begin a new life, to prove to myself and to other men that I am not unfit to lend a hand in con- structive endeavor. Only valgin who expect to engage in great struggles without incurring any defeats would seek to explain the terrible fate of this lost generation solely on the basis of the defeats.
Out of the Night: The Memoir of Richard Julius Herman Krebs alias Jan Valtin
He was granted citizenship in and died in He writes novels; he plays the piano; he draws portraits. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. I had only read the first or so pages of this almost page tomb at that point, but the episode involving the failed Hamburg uprising left its mark on my forever. Which always leads to the destruction of its most faithful followers, prison camps, and firing squads.
Do you remember when you got mad about thr fellow you sent to your Mother in Hamburg and the dirty skunk borrowed money from her and said that you told him to get it from her? There are pages of vivid writing that for quality can be rated high. He was arrested in December and found innocent in May Then give it to someone else. Views Read Edit View history. Dear Richard Krebs — In and that name was an exciting and vital one to me, as it seems to be today to everyone.
Also kinds of gives a different perspective of what was happening in Germany pre-Nazi days. The book is definitely not exciting at all times, and it is pages.
We had lots of nazi and communist spies; seamen with membership cards and badges, either communist or nazi; but who could take such things very seriously in an orderly, democratic state? Valtin never learned the lessons of thf Russian experience.