Background: One of the evidences for National Socialism as a pseudo-religious phenomenon is the flood of poetry in praise of Adolf Hitler, poetry generally written in a worshipful tone. There was an astonishing amount of it. A pinnacle of sorts was reached in 1938 with the publication of this thin book written by Hitler Youth members in Austria before the Nazi takeover in 1938. Goebbels awarded it the National Book Prize for 1937/38. According to Goebbels, as cited on the dust jacket of the book: “We had almost decided to split the award or draw lots for it when a thin little book of poetry appeared on the market. It made all further consideration pointless. This book fulfills the goals of the our book prize better than any other.” There are 29 poems in all.
I’ve opted for fairly literal translations of six of the poems, which lose the rhythm and meter. However, I am more interested in the content than in trying to maintain a semblance of poetry.
The source: Das Lied der Getreuen. Verse ungennanter österreichischer Hitler-Jugend aus den Jahren der Verfolgung 1933-37 (Leipzig: Philipp Reclam jun., Verlag, 1938).
In Praise of the FührerWe often heard the sound of your voice
Two men are joined as one in you:
One seems cold and hard,
One who achieves his goals.
Another is tender and kind,
He forgets not even the poorest.
He feels for the least of us.
Two streams owe their strength to you.
You are the sap rising from each root,
The seed that gives them birth —
A new spirit rose from you,
That forged us together as a nation
And dwells in us forever!
There are so many people who bless you,
Even if their blessing is a silent one —
There are so many who have never met you,
And yet you are their Savior.
When you speak to your German people,
The words go across the land
And sink into countless hearts,
Hearts in which your image long has stood.
Sometimes the vision of you brings life
To those in the midst of hard labor and heavy obligation ...
So many are devoted to you
And seek in your spirit a clear light.
Thoughts on the Führer
Often you must feel alone, all by yourself,
When you think of the mission you must fulfill.
Your deeds are far beyond what others do,
Yet you seek still greater goals.
We can never reach your heights,
All we can do is follow down your way,
And our banner with its symbol of the sun
Is under your leadership, under your guidance.
Each word that you have given us,
Each look that you have sent our way,
Has cleansed us, led us
Given new light to our lives’ paths.
And should some day you be no longer with us
Your spirit will yet endure —
It will carry our children
Into a new age!
Your pure strength rests not alone
In your living word,
But now that we have found their source
They are the German people’s treasure.
Those words it was that first awakened us,
From dull brooding, hollow death —
We can no longer perish,
A light burns for us in the night!
German Girls Address the Führer!
We are the door that leads to the future.
We are the tree on which fruit ripens,
That which inspires us, that which is holy to us,
Is planted once again, strong and pure,
No one can take it from our soul.
We carry in our hearts the light
You spread to your people,
We want to be its loyal guardians,
Passing it on pure, unchanged,
Through our bodies into new life.
Should our future turn out otherwise,
Than we with our young eyes today expect,
If we must bear our heavy burdens
For many long years to come,
If many Mays will come like this one,
And if our houses bear no festive decorations,
If like now the sun must long shine
Without our flags flying throughout the land.
If that should be I have but one request,
That we should have a mighty miracle,
So that the old, who have suffered so much,
May once again look into our Führer’s eyes.
Then they will not have to die
In uncertainty and desperation,
Then they will have a happy confidence in victory
To carry them through their final dying days.
[Page copyright © 1999 by Randall L. Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]
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