hans baumannThis song was composed by Hans Baumann (1914 – 1988), a poet, German nationalist, and composer of many political songs. Despite being raised a Catholic, Baumann cast aside the Christian usurpation of the Yule to compose this weihnacht song. The song sings of the sacredness of the Mother—a reference to Mothers Night and the Volkish emphases on the importance of Motherhood. The song also makes reference to the Solstice fires.
Some of his songs, such as his famous 1932 Es zittern die morschen Knochen (“The frail bones tremble”, especially known for the line changed, “Denn heute da hört uns Deutschland / Und morgen die ganze Welt”, in English “For today Germany hears us / But tomorrow the whole world shall”, where hört was frequently replaced by gehört, “belongs to”) which became the official marching song of the Reichsarbeitsdienst in 1935 and is naturally no longer accepted today. Others, like the ballad “Hohe Nacht der klaren Sterne,” were of less National Socialist content and are still sung today.
After the war and a period spent in a prisoner of war camp, Baumann distanced himself from the policies of the National Socialist government and made a remarkable comeback as one of the most popular contemporary writers for children and teenagers. His books dealt with natural and historical themes (I Marched with Hannibal, The Sons of the Steppe, Barnabas the Dancing Bear, The Barque of the Brothers, Son of Columbus, In the Land of Ur) and won a number of international prizes, including the New York Herald Tribune prize for the best children’s book in 1968.

Baumann was also an accomplished translator, having translated numerous books from Russian to German, including works by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Anna Akhmatova and others. His own work was translated into more than twenty languages.

He died in Bavaria in 1988.



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