chapter  19
9 Pages

NINETEEN Concerted Action

It will be remembered how in the first year, almost in the first weeks of the regime, the underground opposition was organized in a loosely knit and yet cohesive system of “cells.” The system was elastic enough, yet in the long run it proved too rigid to withstand the perpetual strain; too many regular “key-men” and contacts were needed, and what with the Gestapo’s ever-increasing strength, efficiency and ruthlessness, not even the shrewdest precaution on the part of the underground fighters was enough to save them from heavy casualty. These casualties were too heavy in fact to be borne, considering that when too many “key-men” were among those arrested it would often mean the breaking up of an entire district, to reorganize which would require infinite patience and involve enormous risk.