By Kurt Tucholsky
Abolish those cursed tariffs
Trust your company director.
Walk out of the arbitration committees.
Leave everything else to your boss.
No more union talking their way in,
we want to be free economists!
"Away with groups" - on our banner!
Now, not you.
You don't need rest homes for your lungs,
no retirement and no insurances.
You should all be ashamed of yourselves,
taking money from the penniless State!
You should no longer stand together.
Would you please disperse yourselves!
No cartels in our territory!
We're building into the farthest future
trusts, cartels, associations, concerns.
We stand next to the furnace flames
in syndicated groups.
We dictate the prices and the contracts -
no law will get in our way.
We stand here well organized...
What you're doing is Marxism. Down with it!
We're assuming the power, step by step.
No one's disturbing us. Complacently
the ruling socialists stand by and watch.
We want you individually. To arms!
That's the newest economic theory!
The demand has not been made
that a German professor couldn't justify.
Working for our ideas in the factories
are officers of the old army,
the Steel Helmets, the Hitler garde ...
You, in cellars and attics,
Don't you see what they're doing with you?
With whose sweat the profit is gained?
No matter what might come.
The day will arrive,
when the crusading worker calls:
But us. Us. Us."
This originally appeared in "Die Weltbuehne" March 4th, 1930, page 351. The German original may be read at the Kurt Tucholsky Webblog. Interestingly, this poem - as reported by the linked source - has surfaced quite often on German Websites, Weblogs, and in the press, but with omission of the fourth stanza.