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"Chant of Hate Against England"
How Ernst Lissauer's Lines Were
The ever-increasing hatred in Germany against England and the constantly diminishing bitterness expressed in German circles toward the French was commented upon at considerable length by the Basler Nachrichten, one of the leading German newspapers of Switzerland, which published excerpts of utterances of leading Germans to illustrate its deductions. The Swiss paper's article follows:
T pays to take a birdseye view of a phenomenon which, in a most interesting fashion, is becoming more and more apparent; the increase of the German hatred against Englishmen and the diminution of the German hatred against the Frenchmen.
The most eloquent examples of this white-hot wrath against the English are the now well-known army orders of the Bavarian Crown Prince, Rupprecht. Under date of Oct. 29 the text of the first order was made public. It reads:
Soldiers of the Sixth Army! We have now the good luck to have also the Englishmen opposite us on our front, troops of that race whose envy was at work for years to surround us with a ring of foes and to throttle us. That race especially we have to thank for this war. Therefore, when now the order is given to attack this foe, practice retribution for their hostile treachery and for the many heavy sacrifices! Show them that the Germans are not so easily to be wiped out of history. Show them that, with German blows of a special kind. (Mit deutsche Hiebe von ganz besonderer Art!) Here is the opponent who most blocks a restoration of the peace. Up and at him!
Under date of Nov. 11 an order of similar purport issued by the same army commander was made public:
Soldiers! The eyes of the whole world are upon you. It is now imperative that in the battle with our most hated foe we shall not grow numb, and that we shall at least break his arrogance. Already he is growing pliable, (mürbe.) Numerous officers and men have surrendered voluntarily, but the great decisive blow is still to be struck. Therefore you must persevere to the end. The enemy must be downed; you must not let him loose from your teeth. (Ihr musst ihn nicht aus den Zähnen lassen.) We must, will and shall conquer!
At the same time the Bavarian Crown Prince had the Song of Hate Against England" of Ernst Lissauer distributed among the troops as an army order. This poem, which was issued as early as Sept. 1 in the " Kultur-Beiträgen," published by R. Dammert in Berlin, reads in full:
HASSGESANG GEGEN ENGLAND Was schiert uns Russe und Franzos'? · Schuss wider Schuss und Stoss um Stoss, Wir lieben sie nicht,
Wir hassen sie nicht,
Wir schützen Weichsel und Wasgaupass,
Wir wollen treten in ein Gericht,
Einen Schwur zu schwören, Gesicht in
Einen Schwur von Erz, den verbläst kein Wind,
Einen Schwur für Kind und für Kindeskind,
Vernehmt das Wort, sagt nach das Wort, Es wälzt sich durch ganz Deutschland fort:
Wir wollen nicht lassen von unserem Hass,
In der Bordkajüte, im Feiersaal,
Sassen Schiffsoffiziere beim Liebesmahl,
Sie hatten alle nur einen Hass.
Wer war gemeint?
Sie hatten alle nur einen Feind: ENGLAND!
Nimm du die Völker der Erde in Sold, Baue Wälle aus Barren von Gold, Bedecke die Meerflut mit Bug bei Bug, Du rechnetest klug, doch nicht klug ge
Was schiert uns Russe und Franzos'! Schuss wider Schuss, und Stoss um Stoss. Wir kämpfen den Kampf mit Bronze und Stahl
Und schliessen Frieden irgend cinmal, Dich werden wir hassen mit langem
Wir werden nicht lassen von unserem
Hass zu Wasser und Hass zu Land,
[Following is a translation of the song by Barbara Henderson, appearing in THE NEW YORK TIMES of Oct. 15, 1914:] French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow and a shot for a shot!
He is known to you all, he is known to you all,
He crouches behind the dark gray flood,
Come, let us stand at the Judgment Place,
Take you the folk of the Earth in pay,
You we will hate with a lasting hate,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of seventy millions choking down.
This poem, according to the Tägliche Rundschau, has already had the fate of every folksong-the version of it that was circulated among the Bavarian troops lacks the middle stanza and has in other ways also been sung to pieces." But it also has been worked over artistically. The Chemnitz Director of Church Music, Prof. Mayerhoff, has set the "Chant of Hate Against England" to music for male voices. The song was rendered publicly at a great meeting in a concert in the Alberthalle at Leipsic, and was taken up in roaring chorus by the audience. The composer himself accompanied his composition on the piano.
As can be seen, therefore, the popu
larity of the song and its sentiment is by no means confined to Bavaria. It extends throughout the entire empire. Of hundreds of voices in the press, let us mention only one. Councilor of Justice Eschenbach of Berlin, in the Neue Gesellschaftliche Korrespondenz, writes:
Το honor our immortal heroes of Tsing-tau, and for the eternal shame and reproach of the scoundrel nations, Japan and England, I propose the following: Let the entire German press scorn in the next fourteen days to permit the words "Englishmen or "Japanese to appear in its columns and before the eyes of our people and of the entire civilized world; but instead, and invariably, let the word "Mörder " (murderers) be used for 'Englishmen " and the word " Raubmörder (highway assassins) for Japanese." For no other name will there be hereafter among us for these greatest scoundrels of history. Thereby care will be taken both for the present throughout the world as far as the German language is heard and the results of the German spirit are known, and also for future historians, that the proper point of view shall be given throughout eternity for the condemnation of these murderous gangs accursed of God.
How different is the attitude of the Germans toward the French!
From a trench on the Aisne the following was written to the Heidelberger Zeitung:
Four hundred meters from where we lie, likewise intrenched, lie these wretched Englishmen, toward whom our people feel a holy fury, while they regard the battle with the Frenchmen, on the other hand, rather as a member of a university student corps regards an honorable duel. I, too, am entirely of that view.
The well-known psychologist, Prof. writes to W. Hellpach of Karlsruhe, the Berliner Tageblatt from the field:
The German soldier, too, does not hate the French people. Indeed, no one hates it. That is one of the most amazing phenomena of this war-our inner relation to France. Daily and hourly we hear words of disgust concerning the Russians, see gestures of hatred against the Britons-but toward France there is expressed amid all purely warlike antagonism a sort of sympathy resembling almost a smiling love for a naughty child which one feels obliged to punish because it has been guilty of stupid but very serious misbehavior.
We must force France to its kneesperhaps more completely than any of our
other foes-but every one seems to hope that after this, after this last lesson, France will come to her senses and conclude a real peace with her German neighbor. Even among the common men in our ranks there has developed almost plant like a certain realization of a common duty of these two nations, a feeling of certain virtues which they, complementing one another, can preserve only by co-operation. But for the cultured ones among us, the idea of a hereditary feud has given way to a clear consciousness that there is a middle European Continental culture, supported by German, Austrian, and French genius in common, and that the preservation, development, and continuation thereof as against a hasty and superficial Anglization must be the task of the future. All, all now learn through experience that this matter with France is a woe of civilization (kulturjammer), and that now at last it is going to change, that it could change, if
In the same newspaper the Berlin National Economist, Prof. Werner Sombart, writes:
Against France we probably experience the least aversion or hatred. At bottom we have really nothing against the Frenchmen," but they have a great deal against us. But we find them, in spite of their fanatical hatred of the Germans (which we honor and respect) chivalrous antagonists, who in their wrath of battle are certainly quite our peers; and in them, we find, there is far more force and will for victory than we were in the beginning wont to believe. They die for their fatherland, and their final reason for fighting is after all an ideal one, the faith in the glory and greatness of a super-individual, the self-sacrifice to a whole that is higher than the personal. Thus, at least, does that France stand opposed to us, that is fighting for its existence in the trenches along the Aisne. With the rabble that shouts à bas la guerre in Paris, we need reckon just as little as with the rather doubtful citizens that constitute the immediate Government of France and whose heroism seems to show great rents these days. Yes, for the heroic race of Frenchmen we feel almost a sort of pity, as with a noble wild game of the forest, wounded unto death.
And this pity finds expression in wistful sympathy when we think of the quixotic strain in this wrestling with an overwhelming foe, when we see the childlike faith with which the people have grasped at every unplausible hope of rescue from its anguish of death and still grasps at it, as a drowning man grasps at a wisp of straw. Don Quixote still remains the "noble knight" for whom-if he appears in the
age of firearms-we still fire three salvos of honor over his grave.
And then, when we mention the word France," there arise all the memories of the imperishable cultural values which its people have given to us. I believe that there are many, very many, among us who in their hearts hope that there may once again be something like a co-operative understanding and journeying together of Germans and Frenchmen, even if in a distant future which the youngest among us will probably not live to see-an agreement which through a union of German and French elements of culture will promise vast achievements for the purposes of humanity. In the last analysis-for that has in these very days been more frequently expressed-these two nations belong together; they are of equal worth, of equal spirit, of equal fineness, and yet so different that they can give each other infinitely much.
Just as has the hate against England, so has this friendship for France found poetic expression. In the Hamburger Kriegsblatt we read a poem by Wilhelm Höhne, the final stanza of which reads:
ANSWERING THE "CHANT OF HATE"
By BEATRICE M. BARRY
RENCH and Russian, they matter not,
For England only your wrath is hot;
You never mentioned her at all
Or did her graveyards, yawning deep,
For Belgium is waste! Ay, Belgium is waste!
And the ruins that fill the little place
"Come, let us stand at the Judgment place,"
German and Belgian, face to face.
What can you say? What can you do?
What will history say of you?
For even the Hun can only say
Is there no reckoning you must pay?
In her ruined homesteads, her trampled fields,
Her children pitifully cry for bread;
Perchance they will drink with you-" To the Day!"
Let each man construe it as he may.
What shall it be?
They, too, have but one enemy.
Whose work is this?
Belgium has but one word to hiss
Take you the pick of your fighting men
To break and shatter your sacred pledge;
You may fling your treaty lightly by,
It will go down to posterity,
It will survive in eternity.
Truly you hate with a lasting hate;
Think you you will escape that hate?
"Hate by water and hate by land;
Hate of the head and hate of the hand."
Black and bitter and bad as sin,
Take you care lest it hem you in.
Lest the hate you boast of be yours alone,
And curses, like chickens, find roost at home