To my Mother Tongue

Volk auf dem Weg: Deutsche in Rußland und in der GUS: 1763 - 1997

"To my Mother Tongue." Volk auf dem Weg, 1997.

Translation from German to English by Ingeborg W. Smith, Western Springs, Illinois

A People on the Move: Germans in Russia and in the Former Soviet Union: 1763 - 1997
Bells Are Ringing Again in Omsk, Western Siberia

Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of 8/28/1941
Manifesto of Catherine, The Great
My Homeland
Settlement Areas for Germans on the Volga Identified

It was through you I lost my father's house
Humbled, into the world I had to go out.
It was the trusted melody of your song
That surely let me know that I belong.

And when because of you in dust I lay
It then was you that gave me strength to stay.
And when they scorned me for my love of you
I firmly pledged my faith to you anew.

And as death grimly stalked us soon so few,
and grave on grave opened itself for you.
My mouth your trusting love did not betray;
We lovingly stayed together day by day.

Where one contemptuously cursed you thrice
I sought your word, your gentle word so nice.
And when no friend came calling at my door
You were my comforter; I wished no more.

In greatest anguish and in deep despair
My guiltless guilty heart was yours to bear.
My eyes were often dimmed by seas of tears
When wicked deeds produced so many fears.

And you were here and told me: "you will see,
Truth will prevail, so shine its light on me.
Go dry your tears, for now the day is near
When all the hurts I suffered you will hear."

You I believed, with you I would rejoice
And find through you my greatly longed-for voice
I dipped the godly nectar from your spring
That brought me health and happiness, believing.

If then because of you in dust I lay
You are the strength that gives me hope today
If also I lost much because of you
Here's to the happiness
That came to as through you.

"Freundschaft" May 14, 1988

Our appreciation is extended to Ingeborg W. Smith for translation of this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller