1945: The Internationale in Buchenwald

Submitted by martin on 20 March, 2007 - 3:05

While the Allied press does its utmost to whip up a poisonous lynch spirit against the entire German people, the prisoners of all nationalities released from the Nazi concentration camps express warmest solidarity with their German comrades who were the first victims to feel the barbaric whip of the Nazi oppressor.
At Buchenwald, one of the worst camps, the 15,000 prisoners organised an inspiring celebration of May Day, demonstrating the brotherhood of the world working class on this traditional holiday. Here is how PM’s correspondent [2 May] described it:
“Many of these men… have been in Fascist jails or camps for 10 years or more. Their brothers have been murdered, their wives and children lost somewhere on this continent. Their faces are grey, their shoulders droop as under great weight.
“They are the proletariat of many nations and they are magnificent. This is their day and it is fitting that they should have celebrated it here. On the walls of their own barracks and the barracks of the SS who were once their guards, great signs in German, English, Russian, Polish, Czech and Serbian read: ‘This is the Day of the Fight against Fascism’…
“Between these signs and beneath the flags of many nations, the survivors marched — a Polish group, a Russian group, a Yugoslav group, a Czechoslovakian group, an Italian group, a Spanish group, and many others. And then came a large German unit and they began singing the Internationale. Other groups picked up the song, each in its own language.
“Yet the melody was not lost in this babylon of languages. It rose up in a mighty torrent into thin air which but one month ago still stank of Nazi massacres.”

From P.M., an American newspaper 12 May 1945

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