Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Wo alle Straßen enden / Marsch der Verdammten [German Anti War Song]

This is a lovely piece of music and poetic expression and it captures a sentiment regarding the closure of the Great War.  It is very much in the spirit of In flanders Fields.

However i had never heard it before and for anything that good that is potentially historic, that is an impossibility.  turns out to be a recent creation and it is still wonderful.

We have a lot of art put out by the victors.  We have little put out by those marching to their inevitable destruction.  Understand that after may 1918, the War was lost.  Also understand that after Kursk in July 1943, the War was also lost.  D Day merely opened a western front against which Germany could not spare real strength.  So they fought a delaying action instead.  On the eastern front, millions of men were engaged desparately trying to stem the russian onslaught.

In the last two years of the War, all soldiers were engaged in a fighting withdrawal that still diminished their strength.  So yes, this song captures the sense of that defeat yet preserves the acceptance of duty to the death.  Perhaps it is fitting that it can be written now as the last old soldiers are passing.

ing with Karl - Wo alle Straßen enden / Marsch der Verdammten [German Anti War Song]


The first verse and the melody of the "Marsch der Verdammten" (March of the Damned), better known as "Wo alle Straßen enden", was written by Horst-Heinz Henning. Stanzas 2-5 made by Karl Sternau Wo alle Straßen enden Hört unser Weg nicht auf Wohin wir uns auch wenden Die Zeit nimmt ihren Lauf Das Herz, verbrannt Im Schmerz, verbannt So ziehen wir verloren durch das graue Niemandsland Vielleicht kehrt von uns keiner mehr zurück ins Heimatland Zu Vater, Mutter, Schwester Geht einzig unser Sinn Beim Kanonenorchester Hier gibt es kein gewinn Hauptmann befiehl Auf ran ans Ziel So geben wir in Treue für den Kaiser unser Blut Im blutigen Gewitter der verfluchten Franzmannbrut Die Feldpost ist verschollen Der Schlamm ist knöcheltief Man isst nur Wurzelknollen Es riecht der Leichen mief Wir sind verlor´n Im Wind erfror´n Herzliebste uns schon trennt bereits ein ganzes langes Jahr Doch auch im Osten braucht es Schutz vor wilder Russenschar Die Wolken zieh'n nach Osten, Und Dörfer steh'n in Brand, Wir durften jung schon kosten Des Todes bittre Hand Verbrannt das Land In Hand, nur Sand Die Augen flackern angefüllt vom grauenvollen Krieg Ob ich bald wie die andren jung im kühlen Grabe lieg? So geh ich auf und nieder beschau die Leichenschar, Die gestern um die Stunde Gesund und munter war. Wer weiß wohin? So heiß, der Sinn! Wer weiß wie lange noch für mich die helle Sonne scheint Ich weiß nur wenn ich sterb´ um mich die brave Mutter weint Where all the roads have ended The path we walk does not The land that we defended Has all begun to rot Our hearts have burned So pained and spurned That's how we're all forsaken now in the gray no-man's-land Perhaps we will never return to our dearest homeland My Father, Mother, Sister my purpose and my pain The orchestra of canons holds nothing left to gain The Captain cries Bring their demise Our blood is given in devotion to the emperor Within the bloody thunderstorm of the condemned French horde The fieldpost is lost now the mud is ankle deep Some roots that smell like corpses are all we have to eat We've gone astray So cold we stay Our dearest ones we've been without for an entire year But now we must protect the East from the crazed Russians here. The clouds are moving east now, the towns are burning down The youthful men are dying for death is all around They burned the land In hand, just sand The eyes that dare look on the land are met with ghastly war Like them, will I soon lie in a cold grave forevermore? I walk the line of corpses, for here so many lie. Just yesterday they guessed not that this would be goodbye Who knows? Not us. Our grand purpose. Who knows how long the sun will shine before I will be free. I'll only know that I'm deceased when Mother cries for me.

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