Just found this 78rpm record last week in a local antique book store together with the rock´n´roll birthday card/record. It´s a nice little oddity from Berlins musical past: the youth choir of  the Central German Broadcasting system singing two odes to Joseph Stalin.

The record was released probably between 1949 and 1951 by Ernst Busch, one of  Germany´s foremost interpreters of political songs. Busch set up the first record label in communist East-Germany in 1946. In 1953 his own comrades turned his company into  into a soviet style people-owned enterprise, a Volkseigener Betrieb. A lifelong communist, Busch had fled Nazi Germany in 1933,  settled in the Soviet Union, fought in the Spanish Civil War, fled from Franco´s Nationalist to Belgium and was interned by the Germans and later imprisoned in France and Berlin. Freed by the Soviet army in 1945, he settled in East-Berlin.

After the fall of the wall in 1989 and the collapse of the communist system, most of the former people-owned enterprises were bought by private businesses. Today the exact same people that own the rights to the songs of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, own the catalog of Ernst Busch´s communist record label. Pretty funny that capitalists now also own these commie propaganda songs. Of course these two Stalin love songs, recorded by a group of unknowns, at an unknown date more than 60 years ago, in a political system hostile to the one we live in today,  have never  been reissued.



Lied über Stalin

Musik: Ferencz Szabo
Text: M. Inyushkin und Erich Weinert

Es schwingt über Gipfel und Täler und Auen
mit Schwingen des Adlers ein herrliches Lied.
Das Lied über Stalin, dem alle vertrauen,
zu dem wir in Liebe und Freundschaft erglühn.

Wir lassen mit Stolz unser Sturmlied erklingen.
Wir führen zum Siege den Stalinschen Plan.
Wenn wir unser glückliches Leben besingen,
wir wissen, mit wem wir das Tagwerk getan.

Es schwingt über Gipfel und Täler und Auen,
wo Flieger sich grüßen in Wolken und Wind,
das Lied über Stalin, dem alle vertrauen,
dem alle wir treu und verantwortlich sind.

Song about Stalin

With the swings of an eagle, a glorious song
is swinging over mountain tops and valleys and meadows .
A song about Stalin, who everyone trusts,
for whom we are burning with love and friendship.

Proudly we sing our battle song.
We ´ll lead Stalin’s plan to victory.
While we sing about our fortunate lives,
we´ll know with whom we have done our day´s work.

Swinging over mountain tops and valleys and meadows,
where flyers greet in clouds and wind,
is the song about Stalin,
who everyone trusts,
who we are all true and responsible to.

Interesting aside: If you look a litle closer at the label  of the the A-Side “Lied über Stalin” above, you will notice a light blue shade of another label that seems to be glued under it. Because I was curious,  I reversed the scan with Photoshop and it revealed the words Jazz-Harmonika and Albert Vossen.

After a little Internet research I found the record on Ebay. It´s “Komm´ zurück “ (Come back) by popular West-German jazz-accordionist Albert Vossen mit seinen Tanz-Rhythmikern with vocals by (Rudi) Schuricke Terzett.  Indeed this is a Telefunken label from before 1945. Because of the shortage of shellac in the post-war years, old shellac records were often used to produce new ones. But paper was equally short. This is probably an example of the back sides of old labels being used.

(From my GDR collection, an advertisement for the HO Industriewaren, the state-owned retail business,  on Stalinallee. Formerly Große Frankfurter Strasse, the street was renamed in honour of Stalin´s 70th birthday on December 21, 1949. Again renamed in 1961 to Karl-Marx-Allee, after loving Stalin went out of style, the huge boulevard still exists in all its pompous socialist glory today.

“Do you know the biggest shop-window? From Strausberger Platz to Proskauer Strasse (Niederbarnim Strasse)… extend our special business outlets. Shop after shop, window after window, through which you will see our rich range of goods.”)

(A view at Stalinallee from train station Strausberger Platz, 1956:)

(Stalinallee 1956:)

By the way, before anyone gets any wrong ideas…

The only Stalin I´m  interested in, is this Stalin:

4 Comments on “STALIN MIT UNS!”

  1. ëRiC says:

    Whooar! You did quite some investigation here :D nice details!
    About Stalin I had to remember this awful game trailer. hahaa

  2. mischalke04 says:

    The game IS awful, but the dancing comrade is really funny!

    I found some more Stalin cartoons on youtube:

    beautiful soviet animation:

    “When comrade Stalin calls us forth to battle”:

    simple but still fun Stalin hatred:

    and the best Stalin song:

  3. ëRiC says:

    Hehe oh yea! The first one is hilarious! :D
    interesting that they made just other visuals for the pope song.

  4. Jörg says:

    It´s not known, if the dictator really liked the songs about him. Maybe they were just made by the artists in order to survive him.

    Stalins favorite song was “Suliko”, a sweet georgian song about a dead woman.

    Hitlers favorite song was “Badenweiler Marsch”, without text.

    If you compare both with Chuchills favorite song, the swinging “Lambeth Walk”, it gives a hint on his humor.

    I would like to know the favorite songs of Roosevelt and de Gaulle – if they had them.

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