Talk:Horst-Wessel-Lied

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Untitled[edit]

Perhaps a brief line explaining how Der Fuhrer's Face parodied the song would be in order, as it's not entirely readily apparent when listening to the two tunes. 156.34.221.174 14:37, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Second that, i can't find any Lied in the film. --Big gun 14:45, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

What abowt telling us about the circumstances of Horst Wessels death and why the Nazis chose him as the subject of the song?

And how about posting the lyrics? Me and my friends like churning out some campfire songs, so I'd like to know what I'm singing.


Bad German?[edit]

The article claims "The line "Kameraden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen" is bad German."

This may not be the greatest line of German poetry ever written, but it is grammatically perfectly fine without having to assume that auxiliary verbs have been omitted. erschossen is 3rd person plural of the simple past tense of the verb erschießen. Translated literally, the line means Comrades, whom Red Front and Reaction shot dead.AlOgrady (talk) 00:21, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

That is of course correct. In fact, you would gain nothing at all by adding the auxiliary verb haben, it would still be exactly as ambiguous: Kameraden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen haben. This was apparently lost on the author of the paragraph, who used precisely that form as explanation for one of the possible meanings. It turns out that it's actually quite difficult to get rid of all theoretical ambiguity without completely changing the way the meaning is expressed. The Nominalstil I used in the article is ugly, but does the trick.
Furthermore, I prefer the translation of "Rotfront und Reaktion" given by AlOgrady, even though I suspect this usage of "Reaction" is not idiomatic in English (but in its defence, this is also the word currently used in the "approximate English translation" further up in the article). My language sense tells me the ambiguity would be heightened greatly if the line read "Kameraden, die Kommunisten und Reaktionäre erschossen". Whatever my personal feelings, the translation "Red Front and Reaction" is the more literal, and thus the better one in a discussion of linguistic specifics. --SKopp (talk) 20:24, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Kälbermarsch[edit]

"Kälbermarsch" should be added to the parodies because it's by Bertolt Brecht —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.215.119.110 (talk) 06:54, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Copyright?[edit]

What's the copyright position? Under the 70 year rule, it's only PD if the author died before 1936. And is the translation the editor's own or copied from somewhere?--Brownlee 12:08, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

If you look at the article about the author of the lyrics and putative composer of the melody, Horst Wessel, you will see that he died in 1930. Further, it is now commonly believed that the melody itself is an adaptation of an earlier folksong melody. (See the linked article from International Folklore Review included as a reference.) The translation is another matter. It appears to have been copied from the Wikipedia Nazi songs article, which in turn cites a page of the the Internet History Sourcebook which grants permission for electronic copying. Mapleseed 17:58, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Original lyrics?[edit]

Is there any reason (such as the German law, though I doubt this has any effect) the original German lyrics are not shown in the article?  ProhibitOnions  (T) 21:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I've now added them.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 12:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


"A singable English translation: Raise high the flag, close ranks, now all together, Storm Troopers march, with firm and steady tread. Souls of our comrades shot by Reds and by the enemy March with us too, and swell the ranks ahead.

Make way, make way now for the brown battalion. Make way for storm troops as they march along. We raise the swastika, the hope of many millions, The day of freedom and of bread has come.

The bugle sounds its final call to battle, We stand at arms, we're ready for the fight. Soon Hitler's flags will wave o'er every street and byway The end of slav’ry comes with morning light."

excuse me but is it really necessary to add a "singable english translation" of that song into the article? in my opinion it´s just wasted space and so i deleted it. mfg —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.76.254.39 (talk) 05:19, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Horst-Wessel-Lied[edit]

Shouldn't this be moved to Horst-Wessel-Lied. The title is in German and the correct german spelling is Horst-Wessel-Lied. --° 11:20, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. Think I'll do it now, in fact.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 12:33, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I need to tell that the lyrics in the article aren't fully correct. The following weren't correct: In the trird textblock they say:

  • "Zum letzten Mal wird nun Appell geblasen!", after hearing the song myself I concluded that the line must be: "Zum letzten Mal wird Sturmappell geblasen!"

and the following is also incorrect:

  • "Bald flattern Hitlerfahnen über Barrikaden." I heared the following in the song: "Schon flattern Hitlerfahnen über allen Straßen." What is a major difference with the line of the article.

I only wanted your oppinion about if I must change it or not...

Another thing what was said in the article isn't correct either i thought. They say that the Horst-Wessel-Lied was the national anthem during the second world war, but this isn't true according to many people I've spoken. Could anny one confirm this?

--KnorXone (talk) 19:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Rewrite/Copyright[edit]

I have rewritten and expanded this article, largely using the linked paper by Broderick. There are some relevant photos here but I would want an opinion on their copyright status before I uploaded them. (General inquiry: what is the copyright status of "official" photos and artwork from the Third Reich under current German law? There seems to be an assumption at Wikipedia that because the Third Reich is defunct, copyright does not apply to its relics). Adam 04:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I can't load that page, it breaks my browser. But if you speak of propaganda materials, I think it's absurd to claim or fear copyright issues. Propaganda materials, by their nature, are intended to be spread as widely as possible. Citizens are sometimes arrested for failing to copy and distribute them. Now that the Third Reich is defunct and discredited, I think any copyright that might ever have been claimed is doubly moot. IANAL.
If you want legal issues when dealing with Nazi propaganda, worry about current German law forbidding display. Fortunately, our server is in Florida. Anyway, historical purposes should be fine. John Reid ° 12:10, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Lyrics format[edit]

I've reformatted the lyrics and translations; the old version was unreadable. You may wish to fiddle some more with the presentation but please avoid excessive italics. They are very hard to read in big blocks. No need to grind in the fact that they are lyrics or that some are in German, some in English. Okay? John Reid ° 13:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Red Front[edit]

A subtlety is lost in translation. The German text contains "Rotfront", which was a standard abbreviation for Rotfrontkämpferbund, who frequently clashed with SA. The KPD idea was Rot Front (written as two words). `'mikkanarxi 18:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


Article title[edit]

Some decided that "Horst-Wessel-Lied" is song title. Its title was "Die Fahne hoch!". "Horst-Wessel-Lied" means simply "Horst Wessel's song", and that "Lied" starts with the capital letter (which could hint that is a title) is accidental, because in German language nouns are written from capitals. Therefore the article must be either moved under its original title Die Fahne hoch! or under its English name, which is Horst Wessel song.

Opinions, please. `'mikkanarxi 18:41, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I just don't understand the hyphens. I don't think it matters, since there must be redirects from every possible variation. No matter where the article sits, it's unlikely that anyone searching for it will guess at the "correct" title first time -- but that's why we have redirects. It's probably more trouble than it's worth to move it, anyway. Besides, this is the kind of debate that can rage for years without conclusion. What is the "real" title? What Horst called it when he wrote it? Of course! What the drunken storm trooper called it when shouting it out in the Bierstube? Without a doubt, the only choice. What the Blitzed Londoners called it? This is, after all, English Wikipedia! What the dry scholar poking about in his papers calls it? Why, we must respect authority! What the common American schoolboy working on his essay calls it? We should be accessible!
This brings to mind a news account I read some years ago about a troubled spot on the border of Pakistan and India. It seems that for at least the last thousand years, the locals have disputed a certain specific location; both sides agree it is holy but they each have their own views on the proper god or gods to be worshipped there -- and, therefore, the proper building in which to worship. Periodically, local control shifts, the existing temple is demolished and a new and different one erected in its place.
After that latest clash (at the time of publication), several hundred locals were slaughtered and the previous building razed; however the losers rallied and regained control. At this point, one of demolishers rushed the ranks of the demolished, pierced their lines, and laid a single stone on the disputed spot. He was, of course, immediately killed for his trouble. The explanation given was that the martyr had begun symbolic contruction of a temple to his chosen god. I've always been intrigued by this story, a meditation on the folly of men and -- depending on how you ascribe their motives -- the power or impotence of gods. After all these years, the only stones available nearby must have been used at some time in the construction of both competing temples, so what was the young man really doing?
Contrast what the locals do in Jerusalem, where 4 or 5 major religions squabble over one spot and have their temples and bits of temples but don't usually kill each other over them. Instead, they built an airport and hotels and make a great deal of money from tourists who come to see.
I say we build an airport, don't worry about the article title. John Reid ° 01:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, don't panic. I didn't start moving the article from its current place, however strange for an English reader the title is now. `'mikkanarxi 01:10, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

The article was given its current title before I became involved with it. I think it should be called Horst Wessel Song, because that's its most common name in English, but like Reid I don't think it's worth arguing about. On Rotfront, I dare say Mikkalai is correct. The original manuscript in Wessels' handwriting gives "Rotfront" not "Rot Front." Adam 02:28, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
On the Rotfrontkämpferbund: I have always assumed that its title is composed of Rot + frontkämpfer + bund, that is, an organisation for KPD veterans of World War I ("frontfighters"), with the "front" refering to the wartime "front" rather than the political "Red Front." But I have not looked into this. It the Rotfrontkämpferbund is to have an article it also should have an English title Red Front Fighters' League or something like that. Adam 02:40, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
I first searched for this article at "horst wessel song"; redirected that. Next, tried "Horst Wessel song"; redirected that. Finally found it (through rd) at "Horst Wessel Song". I really, really object to case-sensitive titles in the database. At least this time I didn't have to search WP using Google. John Reid ° 10:11, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
"Die Fahne hoch" is the first line. The separate title, for English-language purposes, may be "Horst Wessel Song." Normally in English the tune name of a foreign song is appropriated from the first line in the original language; thus the tune name would be DIE FAHNE HOCH. "Horst-Wessel-Lied" with or without the hyphens may be acceptable as an alternate title for native speakers of German (I'm not one; so they can decide). In other words the discussion is about a German song and we are writing in English about three English needs: the first line, the common title, and the tune name——respectively, and by way of illustration, consider "O Lord My God" (first line), "How Great Thou Art" (common title in English), and O STORE GUD (tune name, drawn from the Swedish first line). Perhaps someone can come up with three analogous terms for the song involved in this earth-shaking issue. Richard David Ramsey 06:30, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

The name of the song is "Horst-Wessel-Lied". Maybe Wessel himself called his words "die Fahne hoch" - after his death in 1930 and especially from 1933-1945 when the song was part of a sort of national anthem, it was officially named "Horst-Wessel-Lied".

mfg norbert —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.76.254.39 (talk) 05:31, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Other Lyrics[edit]

In Ruth Lewin Sime's biography of Lise Meitner, the lyrics (IIRC) "when Jewish blood spurts from our knives, we will feel twice as good!" or something very similar are stated to be a part of the Horst Wessel lied. I've seen words to this effect noted in a few other descriptions of the song. But I can't find these lyrics in any official version. Does anyone know how they fit into the song/story of the song? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wiserd911 (talkcontribs) 03:31, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

There were "official" lyrics to the song, which followed fairly closely what Wessel wrote - his manuscript can be seen online. These are as given in the article. There were also many unofficial lyrics, some of which are given in the article. I have seen references to the line you quote, but I have never seen a set of lyrics which incorporates it. Adam 10:25, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

i changed the english translation, it must be "shot dead BY red front and reaction". in the german original "...die rotfront und reaktion erschossen" we have an accusativ and not a nominativ use of "die" (german native speaker)

.................... I changed the English translation, because the earlier version wasn't idiomatic English, although not usually incorrect. I changed "Red Front" to "Reds" because it sounds more like English, but please change it back if you think the actual words "Red Front" are important-- I don't think they are because that is explained later. In English, "Reaction" and "Reactionaries" have two completely different meanings so I changed that too. I had always wondered what the words are to this song, since books about Nazi Germany are always referring to it. Thanks to whoever posted the original German.

Evangeline (talk) 01:22, 14 February 2009 (UTC)Evangeline

Necessity to include an English singable version?[edit]

I don't quite get why it is necessary to include text for a singable English version, unless you want to encourage people to sing the song in English. Considering the historical context of the song that seems rather insensitive. Since it is not required for the accuracy or completeness of the article I propose removing the singable version. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.225.81.43 (talk) 05:30, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The English translations are literal but not metrical, and they don't rhyme. They are hardly singable, at least with this tune. Presumably the point is to convey to the English speakers who cannot read German what the German lyrics say. The translations shown for the other languages are, however, compatible with the metrical pattern (11.10.11.10) and rhyme, and they were sung in those languages, as a matter of historical record. They are reported factually but in no way approvingly. Richard David Ramsey 04:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
What is the problem, the aticle seems fine. If you get rid of one translation based on a historical context, then we get rid of them all, starting with country national anthems. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 07:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
It is not the job of an encyclopaedia to provide readers with "singable versions" of non-English language songs. The other versions are there because they were contemporary versions sung in the 1930s by other fascist groups. There was no English-language version which used a translation of the German lyrics. (There was an English song sung to the same tune by the British Union of Fascists but it used different lyrics.) The only English translation which Wikipedia needs to provide is a literal one so that readers know what the German lyrics mean. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 05:42, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Very POV (80.136.127.163 (talk) 11:42, 30 August 2011 (UTC))

Image copyright problem with Image:WesselHorst.jpg[edit]

The image Image:WesselHorst.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --03:00, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

George Lincoln Rockwell edition[edit]

I removed an addition of a modern set of lyrics written by George Lincoln Rockwell because the anonymous user said it was "1960s". There are a number of copies of it around [1][2], however I cant pin down publication details quickly. I did find that This Time the World (1960) is public domain because it wasnt renewed, but this text isnt in there. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:31, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

"Sickening" lyrics[edit]

I've added a section with vicious Anti-Semitism that encourages mudering Jews. I hope that helps to show that Holocaust denial is unfounded. I've added a quote from someone who thinks it's sickening. Proxima Centauri 2 (talk) 17:06, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Die Fahne Hoch[edit]

I have heard that the melody to "Die Fahne Hoch" is an old North German marching song. At least one on-line source (Deutsche Volkslieder: www.ingeb.org) attributes, with reservations, the same melody to "der Abenteurer" from the opera "Joseph" or "Josef von Agypten" by Etienne Mehul (1763- 1817). Horst Wessel was from Westphalia in Northwest Germany. The melody itself seems similar to "Erika", written by Herms Niel about 1930 and widely dissemeindted by Josef Gobbels, who also disseminated "Die Fahne Hoch" and who was from the Ruhr, also in Northwest Germany. It is also interesting to note that Mehul was, according to the Wikipedia entry, from the Ardennes (bit west and south of the North Rhein Westphalia area), he studied under a German music teacher in the Ardennes and that the Kingdom of Westphalia was a French sattillate state during the First Empire in 1807 when Mehul wrote "Joseph". There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that suggests the melody to "Die Fahne Hoch" is something traditional to Northwest Germany east of the Rhein and west of Berlin, and not Austria. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.69.13.250 (talk) 18:12, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Melody similar to 19th century broadside ballad[edit]

It seems to be an outside Sweden seldom noticed fact, that the melody is very similar to the broadside ballad Alpens ros (Rose of the Alp). This is said to be an originally German song, translated into Swedish and published in 1871 by Wilhelmine Hoffman, born in Denmark and the widow of a circus rider. She supported herself and three children as an itinerant entertainer.

A traditional style recording of Alpens ros, speeded up and with some verses omitted to fit a 78 rpm record

A guitar rock version from 1961

Fairhair45 (talk) 08:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Copyright[edit]

I added part of this text to the article here my text starts with, "Another version was". I assume the text by unknown 2nd World War authors isn't copyright but Wikipedians who specialize in copyright issues should check. I have translated the text into English after giving time to sort out the copyright, again my text starts with, "Another version was". Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:33, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Du Bösen Qb[edit]

"Du Bösen Qb" was in the parodies section of the article. A web search reveals nothing. Does the term mean anything or is it a test edit that got overlooked? An unregistered user added that, the user did only that one edit. I've taken it out but anyone who knows that the term means anything can restore it, please give a reference if you do. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:41, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

"Use outside Germany" section[edit]

An editor wants to have the title of this section reverted to "Fascist use outside Germany. I think the additional term is both redundant and presumptuous: It should be assumed that anyone (a person or an organisation) using this song would have Far Right political beliefs. On the other hand, we cannot presume to have proof that the users are all of fascist ideology. (The respective Wikipedia articles on the users describe them as "Far Right".) Any opinions? -The Gnome (talk) 09:10, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Calling it far right usage looks like a reasonable compromise. There is a section, Parodies dealing with Anti-Nazi versions of the song. Opponents of Nazism also sang versions of Horst Wessel. Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:27, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Lyrics?[edit]

What happened to the lyrics of the song? It looks like they were deleted, the only lyrics that are shown are just either later additions to the song or parodies. 174.50.171.199 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:35, 29 August 2013 (UTC)


Absolutely Worthless[edit]

An article about a song and it includes lyrics from parodies but it doesn't include the original lyrics of the ACTUAL SONG, what gives? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.140.85.63 (talk) 03:07, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Equal first and fourth verses?[edit]

The text says that the Nazi salute was made on the first and fourth verses, that are equal, but these verses are not equal, other verses are. Either those were not the verses or it shouldn't be said that they are equal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.136.158.47 (talk) 10:11, 1 November 2013 (UTC)