Blast from the Past: Song Lyric Sunday ~ Kristallnaach

March 2019

I am re-posting this one because I feel all my fears have become reality. There haven’t been any torch-lit hunts of immigrants in the Uk however, the Conservative party has trouble with anti-Islamic members and the labour party has trouble with anti-semitic members. Knife-crime is going up and I bet there is a rise in anti-immigrant incidents too that we do not hear about.

My friend said in 2016 when I mentioned that I fear for this country that the British are not like that. Well, I have experienced Germany after the wall came down. It was a time of huge social change and uncertainty and this brings out the worst in society. Britain today proves this as we head for a… who knows… no-deal or maybe or whatever deal Brexit.

My husband and I are talking a lot that we do not recognise this country anymore. We know what we are doing if the worst becomes reality but are still hopeful that it won’t happen. I am at peace with whatever comes. I can’t change it anyway. But my heart bleeds for this country which used to be great when I moved here nearly twelve years ago.

Now, I only see little Britain possibly heading for breaking up with Scotland, new troubles in Northern-Ireland, a war with Spain over Gibraltar and economic suicide. Well, done Brexiteers! Even if you didn’t want all that because you were cheated and you just wanted a job… it’s all backfiring and it looks to me like you can’t get rid of the ghosts that you let loose.

November 2016

On Thursday it was 78 years ago that Kristallnacht happened in Germany. Since Brexit and the run-up to the presidential elections in the US, I have often thought about Germany in the 1930s when the Nazi’s took over.

I have spoken with many Germans who have experienced that time and most of them said that they did not want a war or people being killed for nothing else than being different. All they wanted was a roof over their head, food, a job and Germany being “great” again.

I have heard this about Britain since spring this year so often I get nightmares. I suspect in Germany in the 1930s most people thought that Hitler was just a nutter who would never get into power or stay in power. Then the rich industrialists and the power-crazed politicians thought they could use him for their ends and he proved them wrong. He not only brought havoc over his own country. He managed to get it all over the world.

When I was a teenager rock songs sung in German dialects were very popular. One group, I liked a lot was called BAP which means Dad in the dialect spoken in and around Cologne. They made a song about Kristallnacht and how Nazi thinking was still prevalent in many in Germany. The song was made in the early ’80s but in my opinion, it is still up-to-date and even more important now than then.

I think it explains a lot how racism works and that is why I share it and put a translation too.

Lyrics are taken from the homepage of the band BAP. The translation is an unofficial one by me. All rights belong to BAP

Kristallnacht (unofficial translation)

I think it happens that something clinks,
that something goes astray inside of me.
A sound, not even loud,
sometimes it sounds familiar
hardly ever in a way that you can see through it directly.
You wake up, rub your eyes and see
in a picture between Brueghel and Bosch
no man gives a siren signal
because the all clear is only half as expensive.
It smells of Kristallnacht.

In the quiet before the storm – what is that?
Secretly someone leaves the city.
Dignitaries hurry along incognito
– officially they do not like to take part-
when public opinion ~ always ready ~
rages in the direction of the boiling point and cries:
“Heil – Halali (death halloo)” and obscene without boundaries bellow
for revenge while shaking with envy in the Kristallnacht.

However, those who resent everything that’s different,
who always swim with the tide, as it should be,
for whom gay people are criminals,
foreigners are leprosy, those need someone to seduce them.
And no cavalry saves them now
no Zorro is bothered.
He only pees a Z in the snow
and falls over full of nonchalance.
“So what? ~ Kristallnacht!”

In the church with Franz Kafkaesque- clock,
no hands only dashes,
a blind person reads Struwwelpeter to a deaf person
behind three times locked door.
And the warden with the keys
thinks honestly he is a genius
because he blows up the only ways out and sells them for claustrophobia
in the Kristallnacht.

While on the market place may be,
unmasked, with its true face,
the mob tries for Armageddon,
collects stones, sharpens the knife
for those who are already sneaked upon.
And only for loading lightly moored
– the Galley is already under steam,
one waits for slaves in the harbour
for the junk in this unfair fight
from the Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht is daily
where Darwin explains everything,
no matter if you cast out or torture humans
were money is behind power, where being strong is everything
and you are deformed by “yes” saying and standing to attention.
Where you play national hymns even on a comb
being barbarically greedy for profit.
you shout “Hosanna” and “on the cross with him!”
if you see any advantage in it.

Kristallnaach (Koelsch, dialect spoken in and around Cologne)

Et kütt vüür, dat ich mein, dat jet klirrt,
dat sich irjendjet en mich verirrt,
e Jeräusch, nit ens laut,
manchmol klirrt et vertraut,
selden su, dat mer et direk durchschaut.
Mer weed wach, rief die Aure un sieht
en nem Bild zweschen Brueghel un Bosch
kei Minsch, dä öm Sirene jet jitt,
weil Entwarnung nur half su vill koss.
Et rüsch noh Kristallnaach.

En der Ruhe vüür`m Sturm, wat ess dat?
Janz klammheimlich verlööß wer die Stadt,
Honratioren incognito
hasten vorbei.
Offiziell sinn die nit jähn dobei.
Wenn die Volksseele, allzeit bereit,
Richtung Siedepunkt wütet un schreit,
” Heil Halali ” un grenzenlos geil
noh Vergeltung brüllt, zitternd vor Neid,
en der Kristallnaach.

Doch die alles wat anders ess stührt,
die mem Strom schwemme, wie`t sich jehührt,
für die Schwule Verbrecher sinn,
Ausländer Aussatz sinn,
bruchen wer, der se verführt.
Un dann rettet kein Kavallerie,
keine Zorro kümmert sich dodrömm.
Dä piss höchstens e ” Zet ” en der Schnie
un fällt lallend vüür Lässigkeit öm:
” Na un ? Kristallnaach ! ”

En der Kirch met dä Franz Kafka Uhr,
ohne Zeijer, met Striche drop nur,
ließ ne Blinde, nem Taube
Struvvelpeter vüür,
hinger dreifach verriejelter Düür.
Un dä Wächter mem Schlüsselbund hällt
sich em Ähnz für jet wie e Jenie,
weil`e Ausweje pulverisiert
un verkäuf jäjen Klaustrophobie, en der Kristallnaach.

Währendessen, om Maatplatz vielleich,
unmaskiert, hück mem wohre Jeseech,
sammelt Stein, schlief et Mezz
op die, die schon verpezz,
prob dä Lynch Mob für et jüngste Jereech.
Un zum laade nur flüchtig vertäut,
die Galeeren stonn längs unger Dampf,
weet em Hafen op Sklaven jewaat,
op dä Schrott uss dämm ungleiche Kampf
uss der Kristallnaach.

Do, wo Darwin für alles herhällt,
ob mer Minsche verdriev oder quält,
do, wo hinger Macht Jeld ess,
wo stark sinn die Welt ess,
vun Kusche un Strammstonn entstellt,
wo mer Hymnen om Kamm sujar blööß,
en barbarischer Gier noh Profit
” Hosianna ” un ” Kreuzigt ihn ” rööf,
wemmer irjendne Vorteil drin sieht,
ess täglich Kristallnaach.

Kristallnacht (standard German)

Es kommt vor, daß ich meine, daß etwas klirrt,
daß sich irgend etwas in mich verirrt.
Ein Geräusch, nicht einmal laut,
manchmal klirrt es vertraut,
selten so, daß man es direkt durchschaut.
Man wird wach, reibt die Augen und sieht
in einem Bild zwischen Brueghel und Bosch
keinen Menschen, der um Sirenen etwas gibt,
weil Entwarnung nur halb soviel kostet.
Es riecht nach Kristallnacht.

In der Ruhe vor dem Sturm – was ist das?
Ganz klammheimlich verläßt wer die Stadt.
Honoratioren inkognito hasten vorbei
– offiziell sind die nicht gerne dabei,
wenn die Volksseele – allzeit bereit –
Richtung Siedepunkt wütet und schreit:
“Heil – Halali” und grenzenlos geil nach Vergeltung brüllt,
zitternd vor Neid in der Kristallnacht.

Doch die alles, was anders ist, stört,
die mit dem Strom schwimmen, wie es sich gehört,
für die Schwule Verbrecher sind,
Ausländer Aussatz sind, brauchen wer, der sie verführt.
Und dann rettet keine Kavallerie,
kein Zorro kümmert sich darum.
Der pisst höchsten ein “Z” in den Schnee
und fällt lallend vor Lässigkeit um:
“Na und? – Kristallnacht!”

In der Kirche mit der Franz Kafka-Uhr,
ohne Zeiger, mit Strichen darauf nur,
liest ein Blinder einem Tauben Struwwelpeter
vor hinter dreifach verriegelter Türe.
Und der Wächter mit dem Schlüsselbund hält
sich im Ernst für so etwas wie ein Genie ,
weil er Auswege pulverisiert und verkauft gegen Klaustrophobie
in der Kristallnacht.

Währenddessen, am Marktplatz vielleicht,
unmaskiert, heute mit einem wahren Gesicht,
sammelt Steine, schleift das Messer,
auf die, die schon verpetzt,
probt der Lynch-Mob für das jüngste Gericht.
Und zum Laden nur flüchtig vertäut
– die Galeeren stehen längst unter Dampf –
wird im Hafen auf Sklaven gewartet,
auf den Schrott aus dem ungleichen Kampf
aus der Kristallnacht.

Da, wo Darwin für alles herhält,
ob man Menschen vertreibt oder quält, da,
wo hinter Macht Geld ist, wo stark sein die Welt ist,
von Kuschen und Strammstehen entstellt.
Wo man Hymnen auf dem Kamm sogar bläst
in barbarischer Gier nach Profit,
“Hosianna” und “Kreuzigt ihn!” ruft,
wenn man irgendeinen Vorteil darin sieht,
ist täglich Kristallnacht.


This post takes part in Helen’s wonderful “Song Lyric Sunday”. I am a bit naughty and do not follow her prompts but I hope you like my contribution anyway. Here you can find her latest “Song Lyric Sunday” posts and other bloggers songs.

Here are Helen’s suggestions for taking part in Song Lyric Sunday:

Please feel free to join Song Lyric Sunday with one of your own.  We love sharing music!

Here are the “rules”:

  1. Post the lyrics to a favorite song or a new song you want to share
  2. I’ve started including who wrote the song. (I think it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due)
  3. Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  4. Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  5. Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  6. Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process
  7. Check out the new badge for Song Lyric Sunday!  Feel free to start using it in your posts or add it to your site to show you are participating.

10 thoughts on “Blast from the Past: Song Lyric Sunday ~ Kristallnaach

  1. I really loved this song and the lyrics. Thanks for sharing the translated version… words can be so powerful. I also love how very 80’s this band is. I’m pretty sure you posted this in advance, but it fits the theme for this week! Thanks for playing along, Bee! ❤


  2. Being on the other side of the big pond, I greatly appreciate your insight. It would seem that we have failed miserably in learning the lessons of the past. Your country and mine, as well as so many others are on a path that can only lead to disaster. I fear that only a major catastrophe will bring us back to our senses, but if we don’t take climate change seriously, it may not matter even then. Hugs, my friend. To a smarter, brighter tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much 🙋‍♀️ I always liked the song but never realised how powerful it is. Especially now as Germany is battling a huge rise in right wing thinking in the wake of taking in so many refugees. 🙋‍♀️🐝


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