OUT OF THE NIGHT by Jan Valtin

OUT OF THE NIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An almost incredible and horrifying and frightening human document, the first extensive factual record I have encountered of the myrida ramifications of the underground activities of world communism, in the autobiography of a man who was part of the system for the better part of a lifetime. ""Valtin"" was raised to rebellion; his father was a rebel official with the North German Lloyd; the son and mother lived here, there and everywhere, with occasional returns to Germany, their homeland. The son, caught in the horrors of post-war revolution, civil war, famine and inflation, succumbed to the urgency of action and became enmeshed in Communistic activities, and was sent to the waterfront to foment uprisings, strikes, civil war. His activities took him away from Germany, and back again, always at the command of his superiors, rising himself higher and higher in the secret councils, until he dared to refuse to do some of the things he was ordered. Bitter hatred of the rising power of Naziism, and intense concentration on circumventing their activities eventually brought arrest and a concentration camp. Then follows the most horrible part of the book, a terrible picture of the tortures and the life. His escape was the result of his seeming to succumb, to go over to the enemy, and he served for some time as a spy, ostensibly with both forces. Too late, he found his own side -- the Communistic side -- equally callous, indifferent, greedy for power. Eventually, he escaped the net he had made for himself -- and got to Paris, and then to America, a hunted man. An appalling story; not easy reading, but, for those who can take its horrors, a story that should be read, and for those interested in the network of subversive activities, an important and revealing document.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1941
ISBN: 1169373100
Publisher: Alliance