Wenn alle untreu werden

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"Wenn alle untreu werden"
Published 1814
Writer(s) Max von Schenkendorf
Language German

"Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch treu" (English: If all become unfaithful, we remain loyal) is the opening line of a famous patriotic German popular song written by Max von Schenkendorf in 1814. Schenkendorf dedicated the song to Friedrich Ludwig Jahn for the "holy German Empire".

The melody was a slightly modified form of Pour aller à la chasse faut être matineux, a French hunting song dating from 1724.

The title also refers to a German hymn of the same name, written by the German poet Novalis in 1799. The first two lines of this hymn are the same as in Schenkendorf's song.[1]

Gerhard Roßbach included the song in the activities of his German Youth Movement in which "its emphasis on loyalty in adversity and faith in Germany precisely fit Roßbach's desire to unify conservative forces behind a project of political and cultural renewal."[2] During the Third Reich the song was used extensively by the Nazi SS, and became known as Treuelied (song of faithfulness).


German English

1. Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch treu,
Dass immer noch auf Erden für euch ein Fähnlein sei.
Gefährten uns'rer Jugend, ihr Bilder bess'rer Zeit,
Die uns zu Männertugend und Liebestod geweiht.

1. If all become unfaithful, we remain loyal
So that there will always be a Fähnlein for you on Earth.
Comrades of our youth, you are a picture of a better time
That consecrates us to manly virtue and a death for love's sake.

2. Wollt nimmer von uns weichen, uns immer nahe sein,
Treu wie die deutschen Eichen, wie Mond und Sonnenschein!
Einst wird es wieder helle in aller Brüder Sinn,
Sie kehren zu der Quelle in Lieb und Treue hin.

2. You will never leave but always be close to us,
Loyal like German oaks, like moon and sunshine!
Once it will again be bright in all brothers' minds,
And they will turn to the source in love and loyalty.

3. Es haben wohl gerungen die Helden dieser Frist,
Und nun, der Sieg gelungen, übt Satan neue List.
Doch wie sich auch gestalten im Leben mag die Zeit,
Du sollst uns nicht veralten, o Traum der Herrlichkeit.

3. This grace have the heroes well wrested,
And now, as victory is ours, Satan practices new treachery.
Yet, come what may in our life,
You, o dream of glory, shall never grow old on us.

4. Ihr Sterne seid uns Zeugen, die ruhig niederschaun,
Wenn alle Brüder schweigen und falschen Götzen traun.
Wir woll'n das Wort nicht brechen, nicht Buben werden gleich,
Woll'n predigen und sprechen vom heil'gen deutschen Reich.

4. You stars looking down calmly, be our witnesses,
When all brothers fall silent and trust in false idols.
We will never break our word, never become fools,
We will preach and speak of the holy German Empire.


  1. ^ "Novalis, Gedichte, Geistliche Lieder, 6. Wenn alle untreu werden". Zeno.org. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  2. ^ Celia Applegate, Pamela Maxine Potter (eds), Music and German National Identity, 2002, University of Chicago Press, p.136

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