Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Freiwillige her! Von der Memel bis zum Rhein, von den Alpen bis zum Meer, Freiwillige her! Schwarz, Rot, Gold ist das Panier, für dich, Deutschland, kämpfen wir! Freiwillige her! Freiwillige her! Nehmt die Büchsen, zielet gut! Auf zu Ross mit Schwert und Speer, Freiwillige her! Schwarz, Rot, Gold ist bedroht. Vaterland! Sieg oder Tod! Freiwillige her! Freiwillige her! Duldet ihr der Feinde Spott? Ist der Fluch noch nicht zu schwer? Freiwillige her! Dänen, Welsche, wer es sei, nieder fremde Tyrannei! Freiwillige her! Freiwillige her! Durch das Volk da braust der Sturm: Einig! Keine Trennung mehr! Freiwillige her! Einig! ruft's im Schlachtenrot! Deutsches Volk, Sieg oder Tod! Freiwillige her!
- by Karl von Lemcke (1831 - 1913) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Franz Wilhelm Abt (1819 - 1885), "Freiwillige her!", op. 261 (5 vierstimmige Männergesänge) no. 3, published 1864 [ vocal quartet for male voices ], Leipzig, Siegel [sung text not yet checked]
- by Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897), "Freiwillige her!", op. 41 (Fünf Lieder) no. 2 (1861/2?), published 1867 [ TTBB chorus ], Leipzig, Rieter-Biedermann  [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Vrijwilligers hier!", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Linda Godry) , "Volunteers join the ranks!", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Volontaires, en avant !", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2005-08-29
Line count: 28
Word count: 108
Volunteers join the ranks! From the Memel to the Rhine, from the Alps to the sea, Volunteers join the ranks! Black, red and gold are our colours, For you, Germany, we fight! Volunteers join the ranks! Volunteers join the ranks! Take your rifles and aim well! Mount your horses with sword and lance, Volunteers join the ranks! Black, red and gold is at risk. Fatherland! Victory or death! Volunteers join the ranks! Volunteers join the ranks! Will we allow the enemy to sneer at us? Is our destiny not bad enough as it is? Volunteers join the ranks! Danish, French, whoever it is Down with the tyrannical foreign rule! Volunteers join the ranks! Volunteers join the ranks! There's a storm brewing among the people: Let's be united! No separation any more! Volunteers join the ranks! Let's be united! This calls for the red shine of battle! German people, victory or death! Volunteers join the ranks!
The "Freikorps" consisted first of volunteers from the Prussian army and later incorporated volunteers from all German countries, mostly students and other intellectuals such as, for example, the poets Theodor Körner and Joseph von Eichendorff. There even fought nominally "French citizens" from those German countries incorporated into France since 1794 onward like Oldenbourg or the whole left bank of the river Rhine from Mainz to Cleve. The men and even a handful of women in disguise, had to pay for their own equipment; therefore the uniforms were black-tinted civilian clothes with red and gold borders.
- Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2007 by Linda Godry, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
This text was added to the website: 2007-06-24
Line count: 28
Word count: 155