‘Auf, auf zum Kampf, zum Kampf!’: Bertolt Brecht’s song for Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

German singer Hannes Wader sings ‘Auf, auf zum Kampf, zum Kampf’ (‘Up, up, let’s fight’). It’s a classic song of the German left, with an early version coming to prominence during the Franco-Prussian War (1870- 71). In 1919, poet Bertolt Brecht wrote a new version in reaction to the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. This is the version sung by Wader, and an English translation of the lyrics is below:

“Up, up let´s fight!
Up, up let´s fight, let´s fight! We are born to fight!

Up, up let´s fight, let´s fight! We are ready to fight!

We have sworn to Karl Liebknecht, that we give Rosa Luxemburg a helping hand.

We have sworn to Karl Liebknecht, that we give Rosa Luxemburg a helping hand.

There stands a man, a man, as strong as an Oak!

He has surely, surely, survived many Storms!

Maybe tomorrow he will be a corpse, like so many other Freedom fighters before.

Maybe tomorrow he will be a corpse, like so many other Freedom fighters before.

We don´t fear, don´t fear, the thunder of the cannons!

We don´t fear, don´t fear, the green uniformed Police!

Karl Liebknecht we have lost, Rosa Luxemburg fell by the hand of a murder!

Karl Liebknecht we have lost, Rosa Luxemburg fell by the hand of a murder!

Up, up let´s fight, let´s fight! We are born to fight!

Up, up let´s fight, let´s fight!We are ready to fight!

We have sworn to Karl Liebknecht, that we give Rosa Luxemburg a helping hand.

We have sworn to Karl Liebknecht, that we give Rosa Luxemburg a helping hand.”

 

About rosaluxemburgblog

I was awarded a PhD in History by Swansea University for a thesis on Rosa Luxemburg (2016). I am currently co-editing the fourth volume of 'The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg' and am a member of the Advisory Board of the International Rosa Luxemburg Society.
This entry was posted in 15 January 1919 Murders, Karl Liebknecht, Luxemburg-Liebknecht Demo, Rosa Luxemburg. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ‘Auf, auf zum Kampf, zum Kampf!’: Bertolt Brecht’s song for Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

  1. Pingback: 128. Deutsches Palimpsest « Lyrikzeitung & Poetry News

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