Joy and freedom

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are welcomed at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt, the seat of the first German parliament, with joyous and free singing by children of the Frankfurt Cathedral school choir, aged between 10 and 18.

After singing in German Die Gedanken sind frei, the choir sang an English verse written for this event.

I think as I choose, my life’s open ended,
But always I choose, so no one’s offended.

“Zwei Strophen des schlesischen Volkslieds, dessen Text im 18. Jahrhundert zum ersten Mal veröffentlicht wird, erklingen zur Begrüßung; mit zwei weiteren Strophen wird die Queen verabschiedet. Eine der Strophen singen die Kinder dem hohen Staatsgast zu Ehren auf Englisch”
Frankfurter Domsingschule singt für die Queen

Printed in Bern, Switzerland, between 1810 and 1820, the original lyricist and the composer are unknown. The text first occurred on leaflets about 1780.


Lützow Free Corps

Students and academics flocked to join this unit of volunteers founded in February 1813 as Königlich Preußisches Freikorps von Lützow (Royal Prussian Free Corps of Lützow), which was mostly composed of craftsmen and laborers.

Inspired with the Romantic nationalism of the times and irresistibly attracted towards a body consisting of volunteers drawn from all social classes, many of them made a vow to neither cut their hair nor their beards until they had liberated Europe. In their distinctive black uniforms, members of the Lützow Free Corps were remarkable for superior activity, energy, and enterprise.

When the summons “To my People” called the German youth to war, Froebel had already entered his thirty first year, but this did not prevent his being one of the first to take up arms. It was in the Lützow Free Corps that Friedrich Froebel formed life long friendships with Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal. Sitting around camp fires they shared their vision for building a better world, where everyone lived together in peace and harmony.

After the Peace of Paris, the young friends parted. They vowed eternal fidelity, and each solemnly promised to obey the other’s summons, should it ever come. As soon as Froebel took off the dark uniform of the black Jagers he received a position as curator of the museum of mineralogy in the Berlin University, which he filled so admirably that the position of Professor of Mineralogy was offered to him from Sweden. But he declined, for another vocation summoned him which duty and inclination forbade him to refuse. His three nephews were in need of an instructor, after their father died in 1813, during the typhus epidemic after the Battle of Leipzig. There was great joy in the village of Griesheim, when Middendorf saw here the realization of the ideal which Froebel’s kindling words had impressed upon his soul beside many a watch fire.

Heinrich Hartmann, law student (smoking a pipe), Theodor Körner, poet and dramatist (behind Hartmann) and Friedrich Friesen, co-founder of the gymnastics movement (Turnbewegung) – three fellow volunteers in the Lützow Free Corps who had died in service in 1813 and 1814

Theodor Körner wrote songs and poems to celebrate and encourage his fellows, often accompanying himself on the guitar. Many of these poems were later published by his father in the collection Leyer und Schwerdt (modern Leier und Schwert, “Lyre and Sword”) (Berlin, 1814).

The Lutzow in the gift of God. Theodor Körner playing his sword song for his comrades on the night before his death
The Lutzow in the gift of God. Theodor Körner playing his sword song for his comrades on the night before his death

On August 26 an engagement took place at the forest of Rosenow near Gadebusch, in which Körner fell. Theodor Körner died at the age of twenty-one, and was buried under an oak in the village of Wöbbelin, about a mile from Ludwigslust.