The Death of the Red Guardist

It was in Munich on the first of May,
a matter of life and death.
The whites were raging, the lead was flying,
grenades spat death and ruin.
Manning the machine gun at the Stachusskiosk,
a red guardist shot in all directions.
The bullets rang all around him.
He was bleeding from many a wound:
Just shoot! I'll serve until my death
- the revolution!

What does the bought soldier know
of the struggle of the oppressed masses?
Our blood is spilt for our freedom and future,
those who fall die for their class.
And nearer, ever nearer comes the white mob.
Already the bullets are running out.
Take up the Browning! What's death and danger!
Just shoot! You won't see me be a coward!
Here stands and falls a red guardist of
- the revolution!

Grenades hit the Charles Square.
The church windows shatter.
The red soldier stands there alone, bleeding.
He greets the enemy without trembling.
Then a blow from a rifle butt makes him keel over,
and in dying he threatens the whites:
You cannot take my beliefs from me,
even though I myself am lost:
I die but it lives on
- the revolution!

Erich Mühsam

Mühsam - who fought in the 1919 Munich soviet - was murdered by the Nazis on 10th July 1934.