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Auferstanden aus Ruinen

Auferstanden aus Ruinen
English: Risen from Ruins
Sheet music of the National anthem of the GDR.

National anthem of  East Germany
Lyrics Johannes R. Becher, 1949
Music Hanns Eisler, 1949
Adopted 1949 by East Germany
Relinquished 3 October 1990 by East Germany due to German reunification

"Auferstanden aus Ruinen" (German for "Risen from Ruins") was the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly known as East Germany, during its existence from 1949 to 1990.


  • History 1
  • Lyrics 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


In 1949, the Soviet occupation zone of Allied-occupied Germany became a Socialist state called the German Democratic Republic (GDR). For its anthem, the poet Johannes R. Becher, who later became Minister of Culture, wrote the lyrics. Two musicians proposed music to Becher's lyrics, and the version of Hanns Eisler was selected.

Written in 1949, the anthem reflects the early stages of German separation, in which continuing progress towards reunification of the occupation zones was seen by most Germans as appropriate and natural. Consequently, Becher's lyrics develop several connotations of "unity" and combine them with "fatherland" (einig Vaterland), meaning Germany as a whole. However, this concept soon would not conform to an increasingly icy Cold War context, especially after the Berlin Wall had been erected in 1961 by the East German government.[1]

In 1973, East and West Germany were admitted to the United Nations simultaneously, following talks between the two governments that conferred a degree of mutual recognition. The term Germany was later removed from the GDR constitution, and only the anthem's tune was played on official occasions.[2] No new lyrics were ever written to replace Becher's which continued to be used unofficially, especially after die Wende in late 1989: once it became clear that the countries were moving towards Reunification, GDR television Deutscher Fernsehfunk reinstated the work and signed off every night with a joyous symphonic rendition of the vocal arrangement, accompanying picturesque footage of East Germany's main tourist attractions.[3]

"Auferstanden aus Ruinen" ceased to be a national anthem when the German Democratic Republic dissolved and its states joined the Federal Republic of Germany in the German reunification in 1990. "Das Lied der Deutschen", composed in 1841, became again the anthem of a united Germany. East German Prime Minister Lothar de Maizière had proposed that Becher's lyrics be added to the united German anthem, but this was rejected by his West German counterpart, chancellor Helmut Kohl.

At the end of its last broadcast on 2 October 1990, the East German international radio broadcaster Radio Berlin International signed off with the vocal version of the anthem.


German Literal translation Singable version

Auferstanden aus Ruinen
Und der Zukunft zugewandt,
Lass uns dir zum Guten dienen,
Deutschland, einig Vaterland.
Alte Not gilt es zu zwingen,
Und wir zwingen sie vereint,
Denn es muss uns doch gelingen,
Daß die Sonne schön wie nie
Über Deutschland scheint,
Über Deutschland scheint.

Risen from ruins
And facing the future,
Let us serve you for the good,
Germany, united fatherland.
Old woes are to be overcome
And we overcome them united
Because we so must succeed,
[So] that the sun beautiful as never [before]
Over Germany shines,
Over Germany shines.

From the ruins risen newly,
To the future turned, we stand.
Let us serve your good weal truly,
Germany, our fatherland.
Triumph over bygone sorrow,
Can in unity be won.
For we shall attain a morrow,
When over our Germany,
There is radiant sun,
There is radiant sun.

Glück und Friede sei beschieden
Deutschland, unser'm Vaterland.
Alle Welt sehnt sich nach Frieden,
Reicht den Völkern eure Hand.
Wenn wir brüderlich uns einen,
Schlagen wir des Volkes Feind.
Lasst das Licht des Friedens scheinen,
Dass nie eine Mutter mehr
Ihren Sohn beweint,
Ihren Sohn beweint.

Happiness and peace be granted
To Germany, our fatherland.
All the world longs for peace,
Reach your hand out to the peoples.
If brotherly we unite ourselves,
We shall defeat the people's enemy.
Let the light of peace shine
So that a mother never more
Mourns her son,
Mourns her son.

May both peace and joy inspire,
Germany, our fatherland.
Peace is all the world's desire,
To the peoples lend your hand.
In fraternity united,
We shall crush the people's foe.
Let all paths by peace be lighted,
That no mother shall again
Mourn her son in woe,
Mourn her son in woe.

Lasst uns pflügen, lasst uns bauen,
Lernt und schafft wie nie zuvor,
Und der eignen Kraft vertrauend,
Steigt ein frei Geschlecht empor.
Deutsche Jugend, bestes Streben
Uns'res Volks in dir vereint,
Wirst du Deutschlands neues Leben,
Und die Sonne schön wie nie
Über Deutschland scheint,
Über Deutschland scheint.

Let us plough, let us build,
Learn and create like never before,
And, confident in immanent strength,
A free generation rises up.
German youth, best efforts
Of our people united in you,
You will become Germany's new life.
And the sun beautiful as never,
Over Germany shines,
Over Germany shines.

Let us plough and build our nation,
Learn and work as never yet,
That a free new generation,
Faith in its own strength beget!
German youth, for whom the striving
Of our people is at one,
You are Germany's reviving,
And over our Germany,
There is radiant sun,
There is radiant sun.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hymne der DDR at LeMO Archived 18 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Auferstanden aus Ruinen" on YouTube, Deutscher Fernsehfunk

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • "Auferstanden aus Ruinen", MP3 at
  • Text and melody (MIDI) and sheetmusic at

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