Thoughts are Free - Hans Litten (Hitler's nemesis)

Thoughts are Free - Hans Litten (Hitler's nemesis)
1

I just watched a BBC documentary about Hans Litten, the Jewish lawyer who very nearly brought Hitler down and stopped Nazi Germany from ever happening. Litten was sent to a concentration camp, was tortured for years, ended up with no teeth from all the beatings, lost sight in one eye and was consistently woken up and told he would be shot in the next hour. His mind was played with but he remained strong because of his beautiful poems. I just heard this poem read in German and it sounds even more beautiful. I wanted to share it with you all to remind ourselves that no matter what happens, we will always have the power of our own minds and they will always be beautiful places, just for us, nobody else! Love and peace...

Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

I think what I want, and what delights me,
still always reticent, and as it is suitable.
My wish and desire, no one can deny me
and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!

And if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon,
all this would be futile work,
because my thoughts tear all gates
and walls apart: Thoughts are free!

So I will renounce my sorrows forever,
and never again will torture myself with some fancy ideas.
In one's heart, one can always laugh and joke
and think at the same time: Thoughts are free!

I love wine, and my girl even more,
Only I like her best of all.
I'm not alone with my glass of wine,
my girl is with me: Thoughts are free!

58 and going strong's picture

Poetry

Thought I'd share, go here often:
www.poetseers.org

“Poetry I read to lighten my mind and enlighten my heart.
Poetry I read to sweeten my bitter mind.
Poetry I read to replace my heart’s sorrows with my soul’s ecstasy.
Poetry I read to transform my human mind-jungle into my divine heart-garden.”
Sri Chinmoy

58 and going strong's picture

"Die Gedanken sind frei" is

"Die Gedanken sind frei" is in fact more famous as an old German folk song from around 1790, edited by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1842.
While it had strong political connotations frequently throughout the German history, the basic meaning is certainly that no matter what happens to us to imprison us physically, the mind is always free to go anywhere where there is beauty and freedom, and nobody can control the mind (and thoughts).
However, aparently we are all here because someone/something in our lives started a brainwashing process. So it does certainly take some effort to have a free and freed mind again.
Thanks for sharing, and yes, poetry is always very hard to translate and usually looses a lot of the semantics and original beauty. Nonetheless, let's keep working on PEACE OF MIND!

peacelily76's picture

Thank you for sharing

It's even nicer to know the history behind the poem - thank you. I was quite touched by it's core of strength. I am in awe of Litten for reading it out as part of the celebrations for Hitler's birthday. That man had true guts. The SS kept asking him when he might 'give up' and accept he was crushed, to which he replied, "But I have my poems, why would I give up?"

So, let's hang on to OUR poems and let's live a beautiful day today.

Kukla's picture

Thoughts are Free

And beautiful, positive, healthy thoughts...are priceless.

Thanks for sharing this.

xx
NJC