Mögen andere von ihrer Schande sprechen, ich spreche von der meinen.
O Deutschland, bleiche Mutter! Wie sitzest du besudelt Unter den Völkern. Unter den Befleckten Fällst du auf.
Von deinen Söhnen der ärmste Liegt erschlagen. Als sein Hunger groß war Haben deine anderen Söhne Die Hand gegen ihn erhoben. Das ist ruchbar geworden. .... Warum preisen dich ringsum die Unterdrücker, aber Die Unterdrückten beschuldigen dich? Die Ausgebeuteten Zeigen mit Fingern auf dich, aber Die Ausbeuter loben das System Das in deinem Hause ersonnen wurde! ... O Deutschland, bleiche Mutter! Wie haben deine Söhne dich zugerichtet Daß du unter den Völkern sitzest Ein Gespött oder eine Furcht!
"O Deutschland, bleiche Mutter" /"O Germany, Pale Mother !" by Bertolt Brecht
Skulptur von Fritz Cremer
The bronze sculpture "O Deutschland, bleiche Mutter" ("O Germany, pale mother") by Fritz Cremer, standing on the green space north of the Berlin Cathedral on Museum Island in Berlin-Mitte. The title is borrowed from the poem "Germany" (1933) by Bertolt Brecht. This is a copy of the memorial Cremer created in 1965/1966 for the former concentration camp Mauthausen. Another copy is located at the Forest Cemetery in Magdeburg at the grave site of victims of national socialism. The Berlin copy has been standing at its current site since 2004. From 1987 to 1991, it stood in the nearby Lustgarten, in front of the Old Museum.
The poem below was written by the great Bertolt Brecht in 1933; Communist, German dramatist, stage director, and poet of the 20th century.
Bert Brecht's Poem
'Let others speak of her shame, I speak of my own.'
O Germany, pale mother! How soiled you are As you sit among the peoples. You flaunt yourself Among the besmirched.
The poorest of your sons Lies struck down. When his hunger was great. Your other sons Raised their hands against him. This is notorious.
With their hands thus raised, Raised against their brother, They march insolently around you And laugh in your face. This is well known.
In your house Lies are roared aloud. But the truth Must be silent. Is it so?
Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere, The oppressed accuse you? The plundered Point to you with their fingers, but The plunderer praises the system That was invented in your house!
Whereupon everyone sees you Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody With the blood Of your best sons.
Hearing the harangues which echo from your house, men laugh. But whoever sees you reaches for a knife As at the approach of a robber.
O Germany, pale mother! How have your sons arrayed you That you sit among the peoples A thing of scorn and fear!