Patriotic Song (Arndt)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lettering in a Westwall bunker near Haustadt

The Vaterlandslied is a poem written by Ernst Moritz Arndt in 1812. It is better known under the name The God Who Made Iron Grow (the opening line of the poem). The background to this was the involvement of German armies in his Russian campaign in 1812, forced by Napoleon . German patriots found this reprehensible and there was a wave of emigration, which also led the Prussian reformer Stein and Arndt to Saint Petersburg as his private secretary . The journalism directed from there against the policy of the German princes can be attributed to the Vaterlandslied. It became popular in the Wars of Liberation that began in 1813 and, set to music by Albert Methfessel , was part of the canon of battle songs in the 19th and 20th centuries , especially from nationally oriented student associations and men's choirs . With the text of the 5th verse changed, the song received special official care during the First World War and the time of National Socialism : “Knechteblut” had become “Franzosenblut”. The National Committee Free Germany (NKFD), which was formed in the Soviet Union during the Second World War from an amalgamation of German opponents of Hitler, chose the Vaterlandslied as the signature tune of its radio broadcasts in 1943.


The god who made iron grow
wanted no servants,
so he gave the saber, sword and spear to
the man in his right hand;
therefore he gave him the bold courage,
the wrath of free speech,
that he would endure to the blood,
to the death the feud.

So we want to keep what God willed
with true loyalty
and never
split human skulls in tyrants ' pay.
But whoever fights for trifles and shame,
we cut him to pieces, he
should not
inherit with German men in the German country .

O Germany, holy fatherland!
O German love and loyalty!
You high country, you beautiful country!
We swear again to you:
The boy and the servant are eight!
He's feeding crows and ravens.
So we go to the Herrmansschlacht
and want revenge.

Let what can only roar,
in bright, light flames!
All of you Germans, man for man
for the fatherland together!
And lift up your hearts skyward
and skyward with your hands,
and call out all of you, man by man:
The bondage is over!

Let sound what can only sound,
trumpets, drums, flutes!
Today we want to
redden the iron man for man with blood,
with executioner's and servant's blood, oh
sweet day of vengeance!
That sounds good to all Germans,
that's the big thing.

Let only what can blow,
standards and flags blow !
Today we want
to admonish each other man by man to the heroic death:
Up, fly, proud Victory Spaniard, lead
the bold ranks!
We will win or die here
the sweet death of the free.


  • Friedrich Karl Erlach: The folk songs of the Germans , 1834.
  • Marion Gillum: Political Music in the Time of National Socialism . Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-932981-74-X .
  • Kurt Pätzold, Manfred Weissbecker (Hg): Keywords and battle calls , 2002, especially p. 63 ff.

Individual evidence

  1. For example in the Lahrer Kommersbuch , p. 14, which appears from the 54th edition in 1894 as a new edition
  2. See Gisela Probst-Effah: On the story of the song "The God who made iron grow" . In: Ad marginem. Marginal notes on European ethnomusicology. Announcements from the Institute for European Ethnic Music at the University of Cologne , 45/1980, ISSN  0001-7965
  3. Thomas Stamm-Kuhlmann : The Wars of Liberation in the Historical Policy of the SED . In ZfG 6/2017, p. 513