Red sportsmen don’t believe that / Sport alone can liberate

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Many thanks to Merilyn Moos for sending me her unpublished biography of her father Siegfried Moos, an important figure in the Berlin Workers’ Sport movement of the early 1930s, captured in Brecht’s film ‘Kuhle Wampe’ (above). The following song by Moos is a nice antidote to our own Olympic year:

This is Sport by Siegfried Moos (trans by Irene Fick)

This is the sport of the ruling class
This is the essence of capitalism:
Each person breaks with the masses,
And pursues his search for profit.
And if it means forfeiting life,
That wont stop him; he must succeed

II
1. Capital is fearful of the thoughts
Of those that toil for famine wages.
To distract the oppressed from the struggle
Hear the radio, press: Look at the sporting aces!

2. But not enough: the profiteers
Of capital, not satisfied with this distraction, say
In order to forget your class, you must
Use sport to prepare for our war.

III
1. The sportsmen call: do not be silent!
Attention now: No need to wait!
Stop bending over backwards.
Now attention! Go! Wait no longer.
Hone your muscles! Focus your eyes!
Sharpen your brains! Work your lungs!
We must be fit for our struggle,
Right until we reach our goal.

2. Recruit today to strike tomorrow.
Today we struggle and discuss.
No one will stop us, we will not be hushed,
Red sportspeople on the march.
Hone your muscles!…

3. Red sportsmen fight for all,
For the causes of their class
Unforgiving against all those
Who oppose the broad masses.
Hone your muscles!…

4. Solidarity of sportsmen
of all countries, of all races.
Solidarity of sportsmen
For the final battle of the classes.
Hone your muscles!…

IV
Red sportsmen don’t believe that
Sport alone can liberate.
Then join the red fighting front
To be soldiers of the class struggle.
Hone your body, recruit in word and deed;
Always prepared – march into struggle “Red Sport”!

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