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Out of the Night: The Memoir of Richard Julius Herman Krebs Alias Jan Valtinby Jan Valtin
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Writing at age 36 under the name Jan Valtin, Krebs lays bare a young life filled with idealism and devotion—disillusionment and loss—in a world full of revolutionary promise gone immeasurably wrong.
”An exciting, real book without a trace of unnecessary melodrama.”—H.G.Wells
Book News Annotation:
Herman was a German revolutionary who after the failed German uprising became an agent for the Communist International until he lost faith in Stalin, then fought fascism in Europe until he was captured by the Gestapo, escaped, survived a murder attempt by Stalin's thugs, washed up on the shores of the US, and wrote about his experience. His memoir was published by Alliance Book Corporation in 1941 and sold millions of copies. A list identifying people mentioned is included, but no index or bibliography.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A gripping memior of political intrigue in Germany between the wars.
Cultural Writing. OUT OF THE NIGHT is a gripping memoir of political intrigue in Germany between the wars. A bestseller in 1941, it lays bare a young life filled with idealism and devotion, disillusionment and loss, in a world full of revolutionary promise gone immesurably wrong. Krebs dedicated his life to the Communist Party, rising to a position as head of maritime--only to flee the Party and Europe to evade his own comrade's attempts to kill him. "An exciting, real book without a trace of unnecessary melodrama"--H.G. Wells.
Communist party agitator Richard Julian Herman Krebs (alias Jan Valtin), lays bare a 1920s and 1930s Germany, ripe with revolt, political intrigue and betrayal.
About the Author
The son of a merchant marine, Richard Julius Herman Krebs a.ka. Jan Valtin came of age in during a maritime rebellion and soon joined the German Communist Party working as a professional revolutionary. His life intimately tied with the dramatic events of 1920's and 30's Germany where he rose in ranks in the Communist party and on the Gestapo hit list. After tricking the Nazi's to gain release from prison and fleeing his own former comrades attempts to have him killed, Krebs spent his final years in the United States were he published his amazing autobiography.
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