Um Allerseelen
In der dunklen Nacht,
Wenn vor uns stehen,
Die immer neu unserem Herzen fehlen,
Erinnrung erwacht
An die alten Kirchen, die Hügel im Feld,
Wo sie schlafen, Vätern und Nachbarn
gesellt,
In verlorener Heimat über der See,
Und an alle, die hilflos und einsam
starben,
An alle, die sinkend im Eis verdarben,
die keiner begrub, nur Wasser und
Schnee,
Auf dem Weg unsrer Flucht, - dem Weg
ohne Gnade!

Und wir ziehen im Traum verwehte
Pfade
Wagen an Wagen, endloser Zug
Der ein Volk von der Heimat trug!

Von Norden, von Osten kamen wir,
Über Heide und Ströme zogen wir,
Nach Westen wandernd, Greis, Frau
und Kind.
Wir kamen gegangen, wir kamen
gefahren,
Mit Schlitten und Bündel, mit Hund und
Karren,
Gepeitscht vom Wind, vom Schneelicht
blind,
Und Wagen an Wagen.

Zuckend wie Nordlicht am Himmel
stand
Verlassner Dörfer und Städte Brand.
Und um uns heulte und pfiff der Tod,
Auf glühendem Ball durch die Luft
getragen.
Und der Schnee wurde rot.
Und es sanken wie Garben, die hilflos
starben.
Und wir zogen weiter,
Wagen an Wagen,
Wagen an Wagen by Agnes Miegel (1949)
Mutter Ostpreussen Agnes Miegel and the Silencing of the Suffering Today
How does her present German homeland honor this great woman? In 2010, they renamed Agnes
Miegel Street in St. Arnold to Anne-Frank-street. Suddenly, a world renowned German poet is
"controversial" according to Germany's "Culture Committee". The "Court of Culture" met and
decided to rename the street where she lived because "of the Nazi glorification by Miegel" and
unanimously awarded the street the new name, "Anne-Frank-Straße". Miegel was guilty merely by
association, collectively guilty.  We might bear in mind that in Rostock, Germany today there still
exists an "Ilya Ehrenberg Street" named in honor of the vile communist propagandist who inspired
the Red Army to mercilessly rape and torture female German civilians at war's end. That is
apparently not "controversial" in today's Germany.
In his book "A Terrible Revenge", historian Alfred de Zayas writes about the literature of Germans
from East Prussia, Silesia and Sudetenland, and includes Agnes Miegel, who suffered expulsion from
East Prussia at the end of World War Two. Dr. de Zayas translated her beautiful poem "Es War Ein
Land"into English:
She was an author, journalist, and poet and she received the Kleist Prize for lyric in 1913, the Herder
Prize in 1936, the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt in 1940, the literature prize of the Bavarian
Academy of Art (Literaturpreis der Bayerischen Akademie der Künste) in 1959 and the West
Prussian Cultural Prize in 1962. She was a member of the German Academy of Poetry (Deutsche
Akademie der Dichtung) and an honorary doctorate of the University of Königsberg.
Gentle woman Agnes Miegel (1879-1964) has been described as the Mother of East Prussia. A
poetess of intense feeling, above all others, Miegel put the foremost poetic face of the human
suffering of ethnic Germans expelled from their homes after World War Two. Her classic ballads
often describe her deep love of her East Prussian homeland but her deep, spiritual poetry speaks to
and for all of the Expellees.
"Once there was this land—we loved this land—yet horror fell upon it just as
dunes of sand. As elks in marsh and meadow vanished, so the trace of man
and beast is lost. They froze in snow, they scorched in flames, how miserably
they wasted in the hands of strangers. Deep under the Baltic waves they lie,
their bones awash in bays and straits, they sleep on Jutland's sandy bosom,  
and we, the lone survivors, wander homelessly, like seaweed strewn about
after the storms, like autumn leaves that drift and sob.
Alone You, Our Father, You do know What this our desolation means."
Kollwitz lived in the old Berlin district called "Prenzlauer Berg", formerly known as the "Feldmark"
at the corner of Knaackstrasse and Weissenburger Strasse (later Kollwitzstrasse) until her house was
destroyed by Allied bombs in 1943. On the same night, the entire Weissenburger/Belforter/
Strassburger/Metzer roads area went up in flames from the attack.  After 1945,  the Russian secret
service kept one of its huge detention facility on the Prenzlauer Avenue, which from the start
rounded up not simply ringleaders and  "war criminals", but anyone they regarded as uttering
"anti-soviet expressions". These detention centers developed quickly as part of the repressive Soviet
system. The detention cellar in the Prenzlauer avenue was taken over by the Ministry for public
security of the GDR in 1950 and remained in use until at least 1956.
Kollwitz was a native of East Prussia, a land that is no more. Few locations saw as much human
suffering in wartime as the inhabitants of East Prussia, particularly the women and children. Greatly
damaged in World War One after being severed by the victorious Allies from its cultural and ethnic
roots in greater Germany,  many citizens relocated in the post war years. For those who stayed in
their homeland, World War Two brought horrendous violence and cruelty from the invading Red
Army, including the biggest mass rape in history.
Käthe Schmidt knew heartache and agony. She was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, the daughter
of a well to do mason. She attended The Berlin School of Art in 1884 and later studied in Munich.
After her marriage to Dr. Karl Kollwitz in 1891, the couple settled in Berlin, living in a poor section
of the city where her husband set up his practise, and they had two sons.
Käthe Kollwitz
Soon after the start of the First World War, her son, Peter joined the German Army. He was killed
on October 22, 1914 at Diksmuide on the Western Front. During the Second World War, her
grandson was killed while fighting for the German Army on the Eastern Front. Käthe Kollwitz lived
and worked for more than 50 years in Berlin. On her flight from Allied bomb attacks, which
destroyed her home and most of her life's work in 1943, she was invited by Prince Ernst Heinrich of
Saxony to Moritzburg, a short distance from Dresden, which was also soon levelled in another series
of devastating fire bombings.
Even more of her work, which was in place in the city, was lost. She died shortly before the end of
Second World War on April 22, 1945.
Three Notable East Prussian Women: Voigt, Miegel and Kollwitz
Rape by Kathe Kollwitz
Before Miegel, another famous Prussian woman was poetess Johanna Ambrosius Voigt. She was
born the second of 14 children to a poor craftsman in East Prussia. She attended a village school in
Lengwethen and then helped her parents on the farm and in the house and also worked as a maid
and housekeeper elsewhere. In 1874, she married a farmer's son and moved with him near Tilsit.
Her poetry was a big success, although the academics belittled her with strong criticism of what they
termed the  "Johanna Ambrosius fad". She was widowed young and had a sad life. Her biggest
success was the 1884 poem written about East Prussia which was put to music and became famous.
Sie sagen all', du bist nicht schön,
Mein trautes Heimatland.
Du trägst nicht stolze Bergeshöh'n,
Nicht rebengrün Gewand.
In deinen Lüften rauscht kein Aar,
Es grüßt kein Palmenbaum,
Doch glänzt der Vorzeit Träne klar
An deiner Küsten Saum.

Und gibst dem König auch kein Erz,
Nicht Purpur, Diamant,
Klopft in dir doch das treu'ste Herz,
Fürs heil'ge Vaterland.
Zum Kampfe lieferst du das Roß,
Wohl Tonnen Goldes wert,
Und Männer, stark zum Schlachtentroß,
Die kräft'ge Faust zum Schwert.
Und wenn ich träumend dann durchgeh'
Die düstre Tannennacht
Und hoch die mächt'gen Eichen seh'
In königlicher Pracht,
Wenn rings erschallt am Memelstrand
Der Nachtigallen Lied
Und ob dem fernen Dünensand
Die weiße Möve zieht.

Dann überkommt mich solche Lust,
Daß ich's nicht sagen kann.
Ich sing ein Lied aus voller Brust,
Schlag froh die Saiten an.
Und trägst Du auch nur schlicht Gewand
Und keine stolzen Höh'n,
Ostpreußen hoch, mein Heimatland,
Wie bist du wunderschön!
Das Ostpreussenlied
Johanna Ambrosius Voigt
Und kamen noch einmal, trügrisches Hoffen,
Durch friedliches Land.
Tür stand uns offen
Bei jenen, die nicht unser Leiden gekannt.
Sie kamen, sie winkten, sie reichten uns Brot,
Sie luden die Not
Am warmen Herde zu sich als Gast.
Scheune und Stroh rief Müde zur Rast.
Doch wir konnten nicht bleiben.
Wir zogen vorüber,
Wagen an Wagen.

Und hörten durch Sturm und Flockentreiben
Das Glockenlied ihrer Türme noch
Und hörten doch
Das Dröhnen des Krieges, der hinter uns zog.
Und vom Wegkreuz bog,
Blutend, mit ausgebreiteten Armen,
Sich dorngekrönter Liebe Erbarmen.

Wir konnten nicht halten, wir konnten nicht knien.
Sie kamen hinter uns, Wagen an Wagen,
Unsre Herzen nur schrien:
O blick nach uns hin!
Wir wandern, wir wandern, endloser Zug,
Volk, das die Geißel des Krieges schlug ,
Entwurzelter Wald, von der Flut getragen,
Wohin?
Wohin?