Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Len Wallace Origins: Peat Bog Soldiers (103* d) RE: Help: Peat Bog Soldiers 30 Sep 99

When the nazis came to power in Germany they immediately began arresting left-wing politicos and sympathizers. The first to be imprisoned in the new camps were communists and socialists.

Here's what I learned from John McDonnell's "Songs of Struggle and Protest":

The song was writtem by an unnamed prisoner in the Borgermoor Camp near the Dutch frontier. Its German name "Die Moorsoldaten" first appeared in 1935 in a book of the same name written by Wolfgang Langhoss.

Fritz Selbmann in "Neue Deutschland" April 17, 1965 wrote:

"On the 3rd of September 1941, 70 prisoners lie in the bunks of a barrack room in a German concentration camp. They hear the shots outside, 465 on this particular night, and every shot kills a comrade, a brother, a communist. Every shot bores into their own hearts. the lie awake counting the shots, clenching their fists, trying not to cry out. Then something beautiful and terrible happens . . . in the farthest corner of the room a comrade begins to hum softly. The song is the Peat-bog Soldiers. Slowly, one by one, the others take up the tune and by the fourth line, 70 prisoners, all political, almost all communists, are singing this hymn of defiance."

I have a copy of it on an old album with Ernst Busch and the choir of the 11th Brigade from the International Brigades that fought in the Spanish Civil War "6 Songs for Democracy: Discos de las Brigadas Internacionales".

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.