‘Deutschland Erwache’ was one of Adolf Hitler’s favourite sayings especially in the lead up the January 1933 when he was appointed Chancellor. ‘Deutschland Erwache’ was still used by the Nazis after Hitler had got power as a way of warning the German public about the Jews getting everywhere. The Nazi’s rendition of ‘Deutschland Erwache’ came from a poem written by Dietrich Eckart, an early central figure in the Nazi party. Many speculate that the poem originated from the libretto of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger. This assumption is often made because Wagner was Hitler’s favourite composer. Although there are similarities between the two poems, Wagner’s version is an exact duplicate of the original Die Wittenbergisch Nachtigall written by Hans Sach, the German Master Singer which Wagner’s Libretto is about.
‘Deutschland Erwache’ became the tile for one of the most popular songs in Nazi Germany:
“Storm, storm, storm, storm,
From tower to tower peal bells of alarm,
Peal out. Sparks fly as hammers strike.
Come Judas forth to win the Reich.
Peal out. The bloody ropes hang red
Around our martyred hero dead.
Peal out – that our thundering earth may know,
Salvation’s rage for honour’s sake.
To people dreaming still comes woe
Germany awake! Awake!”
A similar version was also used at rallies called ‘Germany Awake! Perish Judah!’ This ‘chorus’ was meant to have been chanted by those present to give the impression of unity across the land against the Jews in Germany.