Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ingrid’s Sneaky Song

When I was in grad school I was friends with a German woman about fifteen years older than me. She had a very interesting family background. The family had a summer home in the Berghof Gardens Bavaria. Guess who their next door neighbor was? Their primary residence was in Dresden, and Ingrid had an incredible stroke of luck a fateful night in Feb 1945—she and her family were out of town when the RAF came knocking. She didn’t get to see her father much for the next 10 years—he was a POW in a Russian camp held incommunicado, so they didn’t even know he was alive.

When Ingrid grew up, she married an American Army officer and came to the US. When her husband was stationed at Fort Knox, the armor school had a competition to select a song for the Second Armor Division and a friend of hers, also a German service wife, made an entry. They won the competition only to have their prize revoked a few days later when someone figured out they had translated the lyrics of the Wermacht’s “Der Panzerleid” into English. I think that’s kind of a shame, actually: Der Panzerleid is a very stirring song.

1 comment:


i actually had it as the ring tone on my mobile phone for a time - Battle of the Bulge version of course. Apparantly the Parachute Regiment still sing Falchimjager tunes.