Hymn of Hate

About

Mini Productions presents Hymn of Hate.

Hymn of Hate takes its title from the Ernst Lissauer poem of the same name. A nationalistic and patriotic hymn, written during WW1 to stir up a tribal hatred of the English. ‘…We have all but a single hate, We love as one, we hate as one…’.

Set in No Man’s Land at The Somme during WW1, Hymn of Hate is a poignant and never more relevant film, made to coincide with the centenary of the end of the Great War.

The short stars Russell Tovey (Looking, Quantico, Him & Her, The Pass), Thomas Turgoose (This Is England, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Game of Thrones) and Andrew Knott (My Cousin Rachel, Black Mirror, The History Boys).

It is the directorial debut for successful actor, Matt Kennard who has been acting since the age of 10 whose credits include Emmerdale, WPC 56, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks.

Photography by Laura Radford

“A truly affecting short film from a team of very talented filmmakers showing a class and respect beyond their years.”The Filmmaker Magazine

“A heartfelt and moving short film. Poignantly made to mark the hundred year anniversary of World War 1.”Theatre and Art Reviews

Synopsis

At the Somme; still in the hours of daylight, Sergeant George May, always the first man into action, and Private Billy Booth, have been sent to patrol the deadly No Man’s Land by a young, inexperienced officer, eager to assert authority over his men, some of whom are twice his age and far more experienced. As a military man with twenty years service, Sergeant May has learnt how to take orders. Unquestioning, patriotic and loyal to the cause, it’s simple for Sergeant May; he believes all Germans hate him and he hates (and fears) them. Only when he finds himself in No Man’s Land with Private Booth – a fresh-faced, more objective and idealistic young man – stumbling upon an armed but mortally wounded German soldier, does everything he believe in begin to fall apart. Could he actually have more in common with his enemy, than those he trusts to give him his orders?

The most famous hate-the-enemy, nationalistic poem of the war was written by Ernst Lissauer, a German-Jewish poet. His “Hymn of Hate” was composed shortly after war broke out in 1914, and in just a few short months, it was translated and published in the United States (then a neutral nation). The New York Times admired Lissauer’s technical skill, but described the poem as “simply abominable,” and “a brutal and wicked production.” In Germany, not surprisingly, the poem was an immediate success. The Kaiser honoured Lissauer, and the Crown Prince of Bavaria ordered that the poem be printed and distributed to his troops.

Hymn of Hate, The Poem

German poster with sword thrust into Britain
French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow and a shot for a shot!
We love them not, we hate them not,
We hold the Weichsel and Vosges gate.
We have but one and only hate,
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone.
He is known to you all, he is known to you all,
He crouches behind the dark gray flood,
Full of envy, of rage, of craft, of gall,
Cut off by waves that are thicker than blood.
Come, let us stand at the Judgment Place,
An oath to swear to, face to face,
An oath of bronze no wind can shake,
An oath for our sons and their sons to take.
Come, hear the word, repeat the word,
Throughout the Fatherland make it heard.
We will never forego our hate,
We have all but a single hate,
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone —
ENGLAND!

In the Captain’s Mess, in the banquet hall,
Sat feasting the officers, one and all,
Like a sabre blow, like the swing of a sail,
One seized his glass and held high to hail;
Sharp-snapped like the stroke of a rudder’s play,
Spoke three words only: “To the Day!”
Whose glass this fate?
They had all but a single hate.
Who was thus known?
They had one foe and one alone–
ENGLAND!

Take you the folk of the Earth in pay,
With bars of gold your ramparts lay,
Bedeck the ocean with bow on bow,
Ye reckon well, but not well enough now.
French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow, a shot for a shot,
We fight the battle with bronze and steel,
And the time that is coming Peace will seal.
You we will hate with a lasting hate,
We will never forego our hate,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions choking down.
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone–
ENGLAND!

Gallery