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O Germany Pale Mother!

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Written by Bertolt Brecht

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 Let others speak of her shame,
I speak of my own.
O Germany, pale mother! How soiled you are As you sit among the peoples.
You flaunt yourself Among the besmirched.
The poorest of your sons Lies struck down.
When his hunger was great.
Your other sons Raised their hands against him.
This is notorious.
With their hands thus raised, Raised against their brother, They march insolently around you And laugh in your face.
This is well known.
In your house Lies are roared aloud.
But the truth Must be silent.
Is it so? Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere, The oppressed accuse you? The plundered Point to you with their fingers, but The plunderer praises the system That was invented in your house! Whereupon everyone sees you Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody With the blood Of your best sons.
Hearing the harangues which echo from your house, men laugh.
But whoever sees you reaches for a knife As at the approach of a robber.
O Germany, pale mother! How have your sons arrayed you That you sit among the peoples A thing of scorn and fear!

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