Die Wacht am Rhein (English: The Watch/Guard on the Rhine) is a German patriotic anthem. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. The term anthem means either a specific form of Anglican church music (in Music theory and religious contexts or more generally a song (or composition of The song's origins are rooted in historical conflicts with France, and it was particularly popular in Germany during the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War ( 19 July, 1870 — 10 May, 1871 World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All
In the Rhine Crisis of 1840, French prime minister Adolphe Thiers advanced the claim that the Rhine River should serve as France's "natural eastern border. French–German hereditary enmity (Deutsch–französische Erbfeindschaft Esprit de revanche describes the three centuries of hostile relations and Revanchism Louis-Adolphe fr Thiers ( Marseille, 16 April 1797&ndash3 September 1877 was a French politician and Historian. The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. " Germans feared that France was planning to annex the left bank of the Rhine, as it had sought to do under Louis XIV, and had temporarily accomplished during the Napoleonic Wars a few decades earlier. Early years Birth and ancestry Louis XIV was born in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye on September 5 1638 and bore the Heir apparent The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815 involved Napoleon's French Empire and a shifting set of European allies and opposing coalitions In the two centuries from the Thirty Years' War to the final defeat of Napoleon, the German-speaking inhabitants of these lands suffered from repeated major and minor French invasions (see French-German enmity). For the Mauritanian Thirty Years' War see Char Bouba war. For the band see The 30 Years War. French–German hereditary enmity (Deutsch–französische Erbfeindschaft Esprit de revanche describes the three centuries of hostile relations and Revanchism
Nikolaus Becker answered to these events by writing a poem called "Rheinlied", in which he swore to defend the Rhine. Nikolaus Becker ( 8 October 1809 in Bonn - 28 August 1845 in Hünshoven) was a German lawyer and writer Nikolaus Becker ( 8 October 1809 in Bonn - 28 August 1845 in Hünshoven) was a German lawyer and writer The Swabian merchant Max Schneckenburger, inspired by the German praise and French opposition this received, then wrote the poem "Die Wacht am Rhein". Swabia, Suabia, or Svebia ( German: Schwaben, Schwabenland or Ländle) is both a historic and linguistic Max Schneckenburger ( 18 July 1819 &ndash 3 May 1849) was a German Poet.
In the poem, with five original stanzas, a "thunderous call" is made for all Germans to rush and defend the German Rhine, to ensure that "no enemy sets his foot on the shore of the Rhine" (4th stanza). Two stanzas with a more specific text were added by others later.
Unlike the older Heil dir im Siegerkranz which praised a monarch, Die Wacht am Rhein and other songs written in this period, such as the Deutschlandlied (Germany's national anthem) and Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland? (What is the Germans' Fatherland?) by Ernst Moritz Arndt, called for Germans to unite, to put aside sectionalism and the rivalries of the various German kingdoms and principalities, to establish a unified German state, (not least) in order to be able to defend Germany. Heil dir im Siegerkranz ( German: "Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown" was from 1871 to 1918 the unofficial National anthem of the German Empire Das Deutschlandlied ("The Song of Germany" also known as Das Lied der Deutschen, "The Song of the Germans" has been used wholly or partially as the Ernst Moritz Arndt ( December 26, 1769 - January 29, 1860) was a German patriotic author and Poet.
Author Max Schneckenburger worked in Switzerland, and his poem was first set to music in Berne by Swiss organist J. Max Schneckenburger ( 18 July 1819 &ndash 3 May 1849) was a German Poet. The city of Berne or Bern (, Berne, Berna, Romansh: Berna, Bernese German: Bärn) is the Bundesstadt ( Federal Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or Orchestra, or accompany Mendel, and performed by tenor Methfessel for the Prussian ambassador, von Bunsen. The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice The Kingdom of Prussia (Königreich Preußen was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918 and from 1871 was the leading state of the German Empire, comprising This first version did not become very popular. Schneckenburger died in 1849 and never heard the more famous tune.
When the musical director of the city of Krefeld, Karl Wilhelm, received the poem in 1854, he wrote a version of his own, and performed it with his men's choir on June 11, the day of the silver anniversary of the marriage of Prinz Wilhelm von Preussen, who would later become German Emperor Wilhelm I. History The origins of the town were in Roman times when the legions founded the military camp of Gelduba (today the borough of Gellep Karl Wilhelm, also Carl Wilhelm ( September 5 1815 – August 26 1873 was a German choral director Year 1854 ( MDCCCLIV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year For the musical composition see Chorale. A choir, chorale, or chorus is a Musical ensemble of Singers Events 1184 BC - Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned according to the calculations of Eratosthenes. This article lists the German monarchs, ruling over the territory of Germany from the creation of a separate Eastern Frankish Kingdom in 843 until the end of monarchy This version was spread in song festivals.
In response to the Ems Dispatch incident, which occurred in Bad Ems, not far from the Rhine, France initiated the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. The Ems Dispatch (Emser Depesche sometimes called the Ems Telegram, is the document that was used by France as a pretext to declare the Franco-Prussian Bad Ems is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the County seat of the Rhein-Lahn rural district and is well-known The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War ( 19 July, 1870 — 10 May, 1871 In the aftermath of the subsequent French defeat the German Empire was established in 1871. The German Empire is the name commonly used in English to describe Germany from 1871 to 1918 when it was a semi- Constitutional monarchy: beginning with the Unification The song became famous, and both the composer and the family of the author were honoured, and granted an annual pension by Bismarck.
Today, the lands along the left bank of the Rhine between Switzerland and the Netherlands are mainly part of Germany. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands The Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia are German federal states; Alsace and northern Lorraine are parts of France with a mixed French-German background. Saarland (ˈzaːɐ̯lant in German; French: Sarre) is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen usually shortened to NRW, official short form NW is the westernmost and - in terms of population and economic output - the Alsace (Alsace alzas Alsatian and Elsass pre-1996 German: Elsaß; Alsatia is one of the 26 Regions of France, located on the eastern Moselle is a ''département'' in the east of France named after the Moselle River.
The following is the complete text of the original five verses of the Die Wacht am Rhein, plus additions:
|German lyrics||Approximate translation|
Es braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall,
A call roars like thunderbolt,
Dear fatherland, put your mind at rest,
Durch Hunderttausend zuckt es schnell,
Through hundreds of thousands it quickly twitches,
Er blickt hinauf in Himmelsau'n,
He looks up to the meadows of heaven,
Solang ein Tropfen Blut noch glüht,
As long as a drop of blood still glows,
|Additional stanza inserted between 4th and 5th|
Und ob mein Herz im Tode bricht,
And even if my heart breaks in death,
Der Schwur erschallt, die Woge rinnt
The oath rings out, the billow runs
|Additional 7th stanza on war postcards of the First World War|
So führe uns, du bist bewährt;
So lead us, you are approved;
The Watch on the Rhine was, after and in two World Wars until 1945, one of the most popular songs in Germany, almost rivaling the Deutschlandlied as the de-facto national anthem. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All
The so-called German-French hereditary hostility ended in 1963 with the Elysée treaty, so that the danger of a French invasion that loomed for centuries over Germany no longer existed. Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The relations between France and Germany is embodied in a cooperation called Franco-German Partnership (French Amitié franco-allemande; German Today, the song has only historical significance in Germany and is rarely sung or orchestrally performed. Singer Heino performed it on a record, though. For the town in the Netherlands see Heino (Netherlands. Heino (born 13 December 1938 in Düsseldorf as
The Wacht am Rhein was sung by German soldiers in the movie Casablanca, who then were "drowned out" by exile French singing the "Marseillaise". Casablanca ( is an American Romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and " La Marseillaise " (la maʁsɛˡjɛz in English The Song of Marseille) is the National anthem of France. Originally the Horst-Wessel-Lied was slated to be used in the scene as the German song, since it was at that time the de facto national anthem of Nazi Germany. The Horst-Wessel-Lied ("Horst Wessel Song" also known as Die Fahne hoch ("The flag on high" from its opening line was the anthem of the However, the producers realized that the Horst Wessel Lied was under copyright protection. While it would not have been a problem in the United States, the UK or other Allied nations, a copyright dispute would have hurt or prevented showings in neutral nations which still upheld German copyrights. In general allies are people groups or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose Therefore the producers went with Die Wacht am Rhein.
The expression Er/sie hat einen Ruf wie Donnerhall is used for describing someone who has a very strong, intimidating reputation.
In several fictional settings, the song plays a role. When it is sung in the movie Casablanca, it is drowned out by "La Marseillaise" which is sung in response; these two songs were juxtaposed in exactly the same way five years earlier, in Jean Renoir's 1937 film La Grande Illusion. Casablanca ( is an American Romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and " La Marseillaise " (la maʁsɛˡjɛz in English The Song of Marseille) is the National anthem of France. Grand Illusion (French La Grande Illusion) is a 1937 war Film directed by Jean Renoir (1894–1979 the son of artist Pierre-Auguste It provides the title for Lillian Hellman's cautionary pre-World War II play Watch on the Rhine. Lillian Florence Hellman ( June 20, 1905 &ndash June 30, 1984) was an American playwright linked throughout her life with many World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Its melody is adapted by Kander and Ebb in their musical play and movie Cabaret as a fictional Nazi anthem, "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", meant to be reminiscent both of Die Wacht am Rhein and the Horst-Wessel-Lied. Kander and Ebb were a highly successful songwriting team consisting of Composer John Kander (born March 18 1927) and Lyricist Cabaret is a 1972 American Musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York Nazism, which was a short name for National Socialism (Nationalsozialismus refers primarily to the Ideology and practices of the National Socialist German The Horst-Wessel-Lied ("Horst Wessel Song" also known as Die Fahne hoch ("The flag on high" from its opening line was the anthem of the In the forst and second part of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 epic film adaptation of Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz, Franz Biberkopf starts singing the song. Rainer Werner Fassbinder (May 31 1945 &ndash June 10 1982 was a German Film director, Screenwriter and Actor. Alfred Döblin ( August 10, 1878 – June 26, 1957) was a German expressionist Novelist, best known for Berlin Alexanderplatz, originally broadcast in 1980, is a 14-part Television series adapted and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder from the He also sings it in the novel.
The song's title was also used as the codename for the World War II German offensive in 1944 known today as the Battle of the Bulge. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Ardennes Offensive (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945 was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the forested Ardennes Mountains
After the end of World War II, the song's popularity in Germany dropped sharply.
The tune for the alma mater of Yale University, "Bright College Years"  was taken from Carl Wilhelm's "Die Wacht am Rhein", with new lyrics written by Henry Durand, a "Grey Friar" in Wolf's Head Society, in 1881 to the "splendid tune" .