Frieden und Freiheit

Franz Jacob was a man, grandfather of a friend of yours
He became an adult in between the world wars
Some folks are born with silver spoons, they get an easy pass
Not people like Franz Jacob, who was of the working class
He was determined to change this since the time he was a kid
And he joined the leftwing youth groups like so many others did
He became an organizer as one would expect he might
Für eine neue Welt des Friedens und der Freiheit

He ran for City Council – he ran and then he won
Back in the Weimar years this kind of thing could be done
He pushed a red agenda from his City Council seat
While not far from the rathaus there was fighting in the street
And when Hitler rose to power he ruled with iron fists
The first ones to be arrested were the communists
Those who took the oath with the rising of the Right
Für eine neue Welt des Friedens und der Freiheit

He was sent to Sachsenhausen, tortured and deprived
After 7 years his release arrived
He joined up with the resistance, then went underground
Spending years beneath the air raids, always fearing to be found
Spending years beneath the air raids as he wrote and organized
Agitating opposition beneath the gestapo’s eyes
The distant, red horizon always in his sight
Für eine neue Welt des Friedens und der Freiheit

Franz Jacob’s day of reckoning was when his struggle ceased
As the tanks of liberation were rolling from the east
He was arrested for the last time, July, 1944
Decades later they’d look back and wonder what was that all for
As Franz Jacob faced his killers on his execution date
There in the dying moments of the fascist state
Who knows what he was thinking on his last September night
Für eine neue Welt des Friedens und der Freiheit

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“Frieden und Freiheit” appears on the 2015 CD and Bandcamp album, The Other Side.

Franz Jacob was a communist member of the Hamburg City Council in Germany, when the Nazis came to power. During the war, in between prison sentences, Franz organized resistance against fascism, and, along with other German communists, took the Buchenwald Oath, to fight for a world of peace and freedom.