Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

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AulaCicero
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Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby AulaCicero » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:16 pm

I found this while working on a paper and wanted to share it. Unfortunately there is no English translation for this poem so I decided to translate it myself. I tried to stay as true as possible to the original meaning, but I have put the original poem in a link to those who want it. I couldn't translate the rhyme scheme, but i hope that is forgiveable. :D

When I first read this poem it amazed me how much this reminded me of the Amis, but if one reads up on the context it makes sense. This poem was written in March 1884, a time where Germany like many European countries were embroiled in Revolution. I mean the February Revolution in France had a huge influence on the Revolutionaries of Germany.

[url]http://www.thokra.de/html/freiligrath_6.html[/url] Lied der "Amnestierten" im Auslande - German original.

Poem of those who received amnesty abroad

( From " Recent political and social poems ," 1849-51 ;
the poem was first published as a pamphlet entitled
"New revolutionary song , dedicated to the German people ,
written in London on March 25, 1848 " )

To the peoples festival to which we are drawn
calling to us with its cry for freedom
How gorgeous you are, Berlin !
Berlin , bathed in blood !
You wander sooty and dusty
Along with your wounds!
You walk, the pale head
bandaged with flag cloth  !
With cloth fought for with your blood, every thread hollowed by you this night !
Oh, flag blowing from the watch
On German barricades !
We who have restored it from its long disgrace
Up to new beauty!
In one night, in one stroke
Washed clean by your sons

So, help you God now, tyrant !
Stabbed and shot !
And through all streets ran their blood
Workers' blood, student's blood
We grind our teeth ,
Our eyes burning with rage and unshed manly tears

They fought for thirteen hours ,
The earth trembled !
They fought silent and without song ,
They fought in bitter silence !
It was no song  like Ça ira
Just screams tears and groans of death !
They stood seriously and silently ,
The blood up to their ankles !

So sleep well brothers in the cold earth
Sleep forever unforgotten !
We can not press your pale mouth with your stiff fingers
We can not honour you with flowers
But  we will sharpen our swords in your memory !

For the fight that you began so
Shall not end in disgrace !
The fight that you have begun:
Shall be completed by us!
We are ready, we are fast ,
We stand in the gaps ! (We fill the ranks that you have left)
With all that remains,
We shall charge forward with sharpened swords!
Never let it be said:
that they have died for nothing!
For nothing but what they already stubbornly acquired day before
For let it not be said:
They were only good at shooting!
But the strength of their ideals was weak
For them to be so easily defeated!

Let not your corpses retain the stream of freedom
This stream which breaks all chains
in the thaws of March
Let them be stairs – sprinkled with fresh green
They lead us to the roof
towards a future of freedom

Neither manifest nor laws
Neither begging nor promises
Neither promises of amnesty nor freedom of press shall deter us.
The choice is between life and death.
We march forward with grim determination
as biting as a bullet
We say either We or You
The People or the Monarchy

For Germany to be strong and unified
Is what we too yearn for.
Yet for Germany to be unified, it first needs to be free
and for Germany to be free, it first needs to be free of its dynasties
Oh you citizens, only a day has passed
And already you are weary of the cry of freedom
Only yesterday did he call for you heads
and today he is hailed as Kaiser.

With the shameful blood he spills
revelling in their death
Wanting to dye his purple cloak with their blood
For this to be impossible
This is what we stand for
For this remains our battle cry,
For republic and retribution

We step into our travelling shoes
Our journey starts today
Oh holy freedom comfort us
The mothers and the brides
Give comfort to our children and our wives
The widows and the orphans
Like all those who have fallen here
For us remains the weapon.

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between4walls
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby between4walls » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks for sharing this! And for translating. Since it was written in London, I assume it was by an exile?

I particularly liked these two bits.

Never let it be said:
that they have died for nothing!
For nothing but what they already stubbornly acquired day before
For let it not be said:
They were only good at shooting!
But the strength of their ideals was weak
For them to be so easily defeated!


For Germany to be strong and unified
Is what we too yearn for.
Yet for Germany to be unified, it first needs to be free
and for Germany to be free, it first needs to be free of its dynasties
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.

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between4walls
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby between4walls » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:20 pm

Here's the link: http://www.thokra.de/html/freiligrath_6.html

This is the format:
[url=web address]any word[/url], or just put nothing in the "any word" section to link from the address rather than from a word.
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.

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Auf die Barrikaden
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:56 pm

Meet the author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Freiligrath

Who also translated works of Victor Hugo...
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between4walls
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby between4walls » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:51 pm

Oh, interesting. I'd seen his "Trotz alledem" referenced elsewhere but didn't know anything about the author.
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.

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between4walls
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby between4walls » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:52 pm

Auf die Barrikaden, didn't you mention once that your ancestors were involved in 1848? What's the story with that?
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.

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Auf die Barrikaden
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:58 pm

Hmm I don't remember saying that? Also I don't think that they had something to do with that, although I'm not sure-my family tree is quite more like a wood and hard to track. :D I did write about the 1848 revolution in my county, highlighting local actions which included Marx, Engels and Freiligrath.
Resident Les Miz prop expert and collector
Non licet omnibus adire Corinthum
Former Roles: Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar), Dr Orin Scrivello (Little Shop of Horrors), Ensemble Cameo (Fame)

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between4walls
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Re: Revolutionary Song - Germany 1848-51

Postby between4walls » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:05 pm

Must have been another member with German ancestors. Whoops! Sorry.

The main thing I remember from Engels's account of the revolution was somebody's attempt to bluff their way into taking a town with just one cannonball, which was ruined when the cannon went off too early and the defenders realized what was going on...
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.


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