Irma Petroff 1918

German Ignominy

Poem written by Irma Petroff in March 1918;
Translated by Ken Jones;
From Petroff’s memoirs Chapter 16 p. 34.

Do you hear the German robbers threaten?
They knock on the open gates of
free- Russia which swore to keep the peace, like a good neighbour.
The people (who) thus rejected killing. The German hordes are besieging them.

The people who once gave Goethe, Kant and Marx to the world,
See themselves put in the pillory as a cowardly, blood drenched horde of slaves the people who taught the world to think freely are now to drown freedom in Blood.

Oh, disgrace, inflicts the deepest mental wounds on every free spirit who thinks in the German language sinks him in a sea of shame.
Oh, horrible disgrace of executioners which stains the land of Germany

Arise, German People, call a halt. Fall on your tormentors
and do not allow a vernal swarm of slaves to annihilate, by force,
the new freedom which the Russian people have built for them selves.

But if you do don’t fulfil this duty every German proletarian must with
revulsion turn his face away from the slave land which bore him-
Then Russian Brothers give us arms to win victory for freedom with you.