The Kaiser's Talk to Hell
Kaiser Wilhelm II was the leader of Germany prior to and during the war. The following is a poem found among the WWI letters belonging to my family. A Google search showed that it was printed in a newspaper in 1918. It must have been copied and saved by either Jessie or Mildred, her daughter. I'm not sure why whoever copied it down thought it was so important, but they took the time to type it out and save it. Now 100 years later, I'm discovering and appreciating it's historical significance. The original text of the poem was found on the Somme battlefield in 1916 by Ernest Plaine, but the author is unknown. Whoever the author was, they clearly despised the Kaiser. The idea that the Kaiser and Satan were in league together shows a strong hatred on the part of the writer. As the poem goes on though, you can feel the shift from anger and hatred to pride in the American soldier and the sense justice they were fighting with. Studying things like this helps historians understand the mindset of those living at that time. Please read the poem below and notice the strong emotions it congers up. Note: I prefer to read poetry aloud. It helps me grasp the flow and sound the author intended.
10/22/2018 02:11:57 pm
It's unnerving the first time you read it. But it definitely puts context on history.
10/22/2018 06:11:57 pm
You are absolutely right!!! Unnerving is the perfect word to describe it.
8/30/2020 10:56:29 pm
Thank you for posting this. My grandmother recited it for me when I was little and I have been looking for the whole poem for many years and am glad to finally have it.
8/8/2021 10:58:22 pm
I found a notebook in my dads things with a version of this poem. He wrote this I believe. Can you share the year you think it was written? I’d like to prove this
2/3/2022 04:28:41 pm
I don't know what year this is from. I found it typed out in my Great-great Aunt's collection of letters. When I looked into it, I saw that it had been published in a newspaper, but unfortunately I do not recall which one. From my observation, it appears that a number of people really liked it, but not possessing an original copy of the paper to cut it out from took the time to type or handwrite it out. This makes it hard for decedents like us to determine authorship. Good luck on your research.
5/1/2023 10:56:15 am
The poem,” says the Kaiser “was found in newspaper form from a Chicago newspaper in my attic in a house in Wanamingo Minnesota in 1990. The house was built about the time of the Civil War so there were even the discharge papers from the Civil War to the man who lived there. The poem was found by me digging through the eaves of the attic. My daughter was in school at the time and the Gulf War had just gotten into full swing. So I sent the poem to school with her citing the fact that history repeats itself… And here it was …. The part “the boys in tan will get you “,stood out to me. I don’t know if you’ll ever see this. But I enjoy what you’ve written about and who you are. I am a mother of 3 and grandmother of eight and came from a family of 13… Homeschooled my kids most of the way through and they’re all in the ministry in someway. I love the Lord, there is so much joy in learning his word and passing it on to everyone and it’s a special blessing to pass it on to our family . My three year old grandson just learned John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. We had picked up a verse of the month at church with a beautiful picture of a lamb on it… God is so good! May the Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you his peace.
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