1] Rose's German-English regularly substitutes v for w, t for d, d for th, and f for v. The first stanza, for example, can be read:
The Kaiser of the Fatherland And God on high all things command, We two! Oh! don't you understand? Myself -- and God.
Kaiser: Frederick Wilhelm Viktor Albert of Hohenzollern, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who reigned from 1888 until he was forced to abdicate in 1918. The so-called "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse," a huge four-stack ship, had her maiden voyage on Sept. 19, 1897, from Bremerhaven to New York. Rose suggests that the Kaiser is "grosser" than his great ship. Back to Line
10] "Die Wacht am Rhein" ("The Watch on the Rhein"), by Carl Wilhelm (1815-1873) was written in 1840 by Max Schneckenburger and put into its present form in 1854 by Karl Wilhelm. The song became the German national anthem until 1922. The last stanza and a translation follow:
So führe uns, du bist bewährt; In Gottvertrau'n greif' zu dem Schwert, Hoch Wilhelm! Nieder mit der Brut! Und tilg' die Schmach mit Feindesblut! Lieb' Vaterland, magst ruhig sein, Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein!
So lead us, you are tested; With trust in God, take the sword, Hail Wilhelm! Down with that brood! Erase our shame with the enemy's blood! Beloved land of our fathers, have no fear, Fast and true stands the watch on the Rhein.
38] Boers: the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 between Britain and the two Boer republics, the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, ended on May 31, 1902, with the peace treaty of Vereeniging and a victory for Britain. Back to Line
46] Betersburg by Nicholas: June 18, 1881 saw the signing of the Three Emperors League (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia) but by 1890 only the Russo-German reinsurance treaty was in in effect. Caprivi did not renegotiate it then and so paved the road for the Franco-Russian alliance, signed August 18, 1892, and anticipating a Russian attack on Germany. Back to Line