The Poet and Freedom Fighter Carl Gottlieb Hinkel was a contemporary of Theodor Körner, Ernst Moritz Arndt and Friedrich Rückert. He was born on 15th October 1793 in Chemnitz, a son of the merchant Gotthilff Hinckel (1747-1806) and the wife he married in 1784, Johanne Juliane nee Hänel from Annaberg-Buchholz (1761-1836).

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel's father died when he was only 13 years old. A few months later, Johanne Juliane Hinkel's brother in Annaberg was also widowed. She moved with Carl and his sister Wilhelmine to Annaberg and helped her brother Christian Gottlieb Hänel, merchant in Annaberg, partner in the business Eisenstück & Co., Lord of the Manor of Tannenberg near Geyer to run his household and was known as "Aunty Hinkel", an ersatz mother for the children. The youngest thereof was only two years old.

Unfortunately there is no known portrait of Carl Gottlieb Hinkel but there are miniatures of his parents and his eldest brother Gotthilf Heinrich Hinkel which have survived.

After attending the Fürstenschule Schulpforte near Naumburg, Carl Hinkel entered the University of Leipzig on 4th May 1812 as Student Number 59. He was a co-founder and Senior of the Leipzig Student Organisation Corps Saxonia Leipzig (founded on 4th September 1812) and wrote their Constitution which is still in force today (with the principles of tolerance, friendship, self-perfection and the choice of freedom).
He was a friend of, amongst others, the poet Karl Friedrich Wildenhayn, of whom the Dresden sculptor Ernst Rietschel made an etching.

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel composed the "Bundeslied" (Song of the Alliance) "Wo Muth und Kraft" (Where Courage and Power flame in a German heart) as a song of welcome for King Friedrich August I. the Just, who returned to Dresden after Prussian captivity and a 20 month Exile on 7.6.1815, after the Napoleonic War. The Bundeslied contains the first literary mention of the then newly adopted Royal Saxon national colours of white & green.

In 1815 the publisher Karl Tauchnitz "von Doering" in Leipzig published Hinkel's "Leipziger Commersbuch" with many songs on its 155 pages. This book was no longer to be found in Europe and was presumed to be lost forever. A copy was digitalised in California in 2007 (from the library of Konrad Burdach which is in the possession of the University of California) and was found by Roderick Hinkel on the Internet on 28th June 2009. In the index of songs under I. Commers-Lieder (Students' Songs) are 26 songs, under II. Hospits-Lieder there are 36 songs including "Der Sänger sah" (The singer saw), "Leonora, Leonora"; under III. Vaterlands-Lieder (Fatherland Songs) there are 11 songs including "Herz voll Muth" (Heart full of courage), "Wo Kraft und Muth" (Where power and courage) and "Heil Dir im Rautenkranz" (We salute thee in diamond crown).

Ad loca! Silentium!

We encamp ourselves under the shade of cool limes,
the outdoor dwelling, in our centre the sword;
So honour we the custom of our ancestors,
and friendship should the heart softly enwind!

The flower wilts, the blooming years dwindle;
O that far from the homely cottage
trickles softly the stream behind you!
My heart tells me, that we will find each other again!

O may these happy songs oft
lead you back to the beach of the Pleiße~,
when the dark clouds fall on old age!

So take it there, beloved treasured brothers,
a graceful pledge from our times of youth,
and a sweet souvenir of our friendship!

~The River Pleiße in Leipzig
Translation: Roderick Hinkel

A year before his death the poetry collection "Erste Saitenklänge" was published by Carl Friedrich Franz (1816) from which especially "Wo Muth und Kraft in deutscher Seele flammen" is the best known. The melody was adopted by many student fraternities and the text slightly altered. The melody is based on the French song by Souvent (Le Voltigeur Francaise, Mouvement de Marche, le Chant, Luth in C#). The first verse is as follows:

Brulant d'amour et partant pour la guerre,
Le casque en tete et la lyre a la main,
Un troubadour a sa jeune bergere,
En s'eloignant repetait ce refrain:
Mon bras a ma patrie,
Mon couer a mon armie,
Mourir content pour la glorie et l'amour,
C'est refrain du joyeux troubadour!

This melody was published in 1814 in the "Almanach Lyrique des Dames".

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel took part in the renewed attack against the new strengthened troops in 1815 (Liegnitz, Courtrai, Lüttick) and was severely wounded in the process. He died as a result of his injuries on 22nd December 1817 in Leipzig.

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel's niece Helene Hinkel (1821-1890) married in 1842 Alois Peter Edler von Portheim who with his brother owned a large porcelain works in Bohemia and had been elevated to the aristocracy by the Austrian Emperor. Her brother Friedrich Otto Hinkel (1825-1909) was a city councillor for 18 years in Chemnitz and founded a large textile firm. He was created a Knight of the Royal Saxon Order of Albert 1st Class. One of his granddaughters married in 1914 a descendant of Friedrich Rückert, a contemporary of Carl Hinkel as mentioned above. The niece Ottilia Hinkel (1833-1900) married August Götze (1814-1881), partner in the firm of Richard Hartmann Locomotive Builders in Chemnitz. her sister Minna Klara Hinkel (1835-1908) was married to Johann Heinrich Ludwig August Meyersick (1829-1900), Music Director of the Chemnitz Music Conservatoire. They had two sons that left no descendants: Kasper Ludwig Meyersick (1871 - 1907) and Conrad Wilhelm Meyersick (1873 - 1936).

I. Bundeslied (Song of the Alliance)

Where courage and power flame in a German heart,
the shining sword is not absent at the clanging of goblets;
We stand united, and loyally close ranks,
ringing out loudly in enthusiastic song:
Should rock and oak split asunder,
we will not tremble!
The youngling pushes tempestuously ahead,
for love and glory in battle and death to go.

White, as is the King's head, is our mark,
and green the band, encircling our breast;
Green as the leaves of our German oaks,
green as the hope, that glows in the heart.
Should rock etc.

We know too how to swing the loyal steel,
the brow is free, and strong the arm in battle!
We endure, and can call out courageously,
when the honour of the Fatherland is at stake.
Should rock etc.

So swear it loud with our shining swords,
loyal to the King in life, as in death!
Up, brothers, onward! and protect the Father's ground,
and call forth in bloody morning red:
Should rock, etc.

And you, my dear, who in sweet hours
consoleth the friend with some glances and words.
Your heart really beats above grave and wounds?
Eternally lives the loyal love!
Should rock, etc.

Should destiny part the great alliance members,
we'd extend our loyal brotherly hand;
Once again call Saxonia's awakened brothers.
Salute the King! and salute the Fatherland!
Should rock and oak split asunder,
we will not tremble!
The youngling pushes tempestously ahead,
for love and glory in battle and death to go.

Alternative version:
Red as love is the brothers' mark,
pure as the gold of the spirit glowing through us.
And that we never, even in death do yield,
so be the band black, encircling our breast!
Should rock etc.

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel

Translation: Roderick Hinkel

Mel.: "Brulant d'amour"

King Friedrich August I
of Saxony

II. Saxony's National Anthem

We salute thee in diamond crown,
Father of the Fatherland,
We salute thee, King!
O do not turn away,
from your people's fortune
The true fatherly glance!
We salute thee, King!

Thou, King, art good and mild,
thine people's shield,
we bless thee!
And pressured from the heart,
loudly at the clanging of goblets,
sounds our refrain,
We salute thee, King!

Who honours God and King,
and our German sword,
follows the banner!
Give another the brotherly hand,
for freedom, Fatherland,
Loyal to the grave's edge!
We salute thee, King!

We feel courage high,
dedicate possessions and blood
for thee, for thee!
He is a Saxon not,
who fights for freedom not,
and still speaks in death,
We salute thee, King!

Thee King, we do bless,
we live for thee, Father,
we die for thee!
We follow our duty,
even should our hearts break,
We Saxons tremble not,
We salute thee, King!

Carl Gottlieb Hinkel

Translation: Roderick Hinkel

Mel.: "God save the King"

The translator apologises for the English version not necessarily rhyming but to change the meaning to achieve a poetical rhyming would defeat the aim of the translation.

In 1815 Carl Gottlieb wrote the above Saxon National Anthem "Heil Dir im Rautenkranz" which is sung to the melody of the British National Anthem "God save the King". This was used by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy who was ordered by the King to "weave this music into a new composition" for the unveiling of a statue of King Friedrich August I by Ernst Rietschel at the Zwinger Palace in Dresden on 7.6.1843. This fact was noted by Richard Wagner in his book "My Life", Part II (1842-1850).

    •    Unveiled on 7.6.1843 at the Zwinger Palace
    •    Stood in front of the Japanese Palace from 1930
    •    Since 29.5.2008 stands between the Royal Church and the steps to the Brühlschen Terrasse in Dresden.
At the front of the Japanese Palace           - Detail  -                        Newly erected in 2008

The scripts of Mendelssohn and Wagner (ordered by the Saxon Monarch) were lost but recently turned up in Warsaw as war booty. For the relocation of the restored monument to its current location, great-grandson Dr. Martin Rietschel arranged for the Madrigal Chior of Dresden to sing as a Wagnerian Male Chior. A festival for the 150th centenary of Ernst Rietschel's death (21-02.1860) is planned to take place on 19th-21st February 2011 in Pülsnitz and Dresden.

"Wo Muth und Kraft" - rediscovered in South Africa

As a child growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, Roderick Hinkel started playing the piano at the age of five years, at first teaching himself on his older sister's instrument. He received piano tuition between the age of 8 and 17. Between the ages of 10 and 17 he also learned to play the violin. The children inherited a musical ability, including from their paternal grandmother Catherine who was a mezzo soprano and received a gold medal for her singing at the Royal Academy in London, being examined by the composer Tosti. Her granddaughter Ingrid Hinkel-Ciccolella studied singing at the Conservatoire in Naples; her daughter Erika Ciccolella plays the violin.

On Sundays, Roderick Hinkel played hymns on the piano for the Sunday School at the Anglican Christ Church in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg, under the direction of Mrs. Jenny Clarke. Sometimes he accompanied his sister Ingrid who played the church organ, playing the violin, when the organist was on holiday.

When the organist Mrs. Blignaut, who came from the Cape Province, passed away, her daughter Jenny Clarke gave her collection of music books to Roderick Hinkel. To his great astonishment he found an old German Song Book, Edition Peters, and under Number 143 the "Bundeslied" by Carl Hinkel appeared. Although he was only 13-14 years old, he made enquiries by post to the British Library in London, which recommended writing to the German Library in Leipzig for more information. On the back of this research, Roderick Hinkel stumbled on the fascinating history of his grandfather's family. His grandfather was born in London in 1880, the son of emigrant Saxon parents.
The London Brothers Hinkel
ca. 1886
Kurt Hugo (born 1876), Hugo Alfred (born 1878).
Lothar Arthur Anton (born 1880), Leonhardt Erich (born 1882)
and Walther Bruno Alfred (born 1884).

In the family home "Bucklands" in London, the five brothers often sang songs during "Musical Evenings". Their father Kurt Hugo Eberhardt Hinkel (born in 1851 in Chemnitz) once sang in the Royal Albert Hall. The eldest sons Kurt and Hugo attended the Boy's High School in Chemnitz whilst the younger brothers were schooled in London. Lothar and Walther went to Cape Town in 1901. Leonhardt became a Dr. of Science at the University of London at the age of only 21. In 1914 he went with his mother Antonie nee Leonhardt from Reichenbach/Vogtland from London to the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. Whilst they were there, WWI broke out but they managed to get the last train back to London. Thereafter, the London Hinkels were cut off from their Saxon roots.

The London relatives stated in the 1970s that Uncle Dr. Leonhardt Hinkel had carried out a search after WWI but there were no living relatives to be found in Germany and that Roderick should not even think about searching for any relatives as they would be in the communist zone. He was also warned that there would be communist cells in South Africa and contact with the GDR was not desired and could be potentially dangerous. This had the opposite effect than planned and he embarked on his research behind the Iron Curtain!

Although many documents had been destroyed in the bombing of Chemnitz, he was able to find two granddaughters of Sir Friedrich Otto Hinkel who had escaped to West Germany but were still sending maintenance payments for the upkeep of their grandfather's grave in the New Cemetery in Chemnitz. Fortunately, they still had their Grandfather's family tree that he had commissioned and which goes back to 1531 to Pobershau/Sorgau near Zöblitz in the Erzgebirge mountains near Chemnitz, almost on the Bohemian border. On Sir Friedrich's gravestone there is a poem which may have been written by him or by his famous uncle. He is also said by his granddaughter Vera Reinicker (who lived in Rottach-Egern in 1982) to have composed a poem which was under the clock on the tower of the City Hall in Chemnitz but it was bombed and no record of it has been found so far. The translated inscription on Sir Friedrich's grave is as follows:

Oaks rise, oaks fall
After life follows peace.
After the pilgrimage to earth,
the spirit sweeps home.

Roderick Hinkel later contacted Corps Saxonia Leipzig, which was then in Augsburg. Aged 20, he was a guest of honour at their 170th anniversary festivities in 1982, for three days. He was also present at their 190th anniversary - in Leipzig! In May 2003 at the 50th birthday party of one of the members he had met in 1982, who arranged for the Corps to move to Leipzig after the Peaceful Revolution, he met another member who found Schloss Börln for him a few weeks later.

The Bundeslied should be sung "strongly and rapidly". In this case, it was more of a case of "prestissimo". Already by July 2003, Roderick Hinkel had bought Schloss Börln and in September he moved there - as had Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda in 1940 - from Holland, where he had lived for 14 months. He was accompanied by his Blüthner grand piano which was tuned shortly after arrival by Blüthner of Leipzig. This instrument was manufactured in Leipzig in 1900, purchased in France in 2001, when Roderick Hinkel lived in Paris, and transported to Amsterdam in 2002. Finally, after a long journey, after 103 years the piano came back to Leipzig. Many concerts have been played on this instrument in the castle, from classical music to improvisations.

"He who pays, chooses the music" is an old German saying but in this case, the music seems to have decided everything!

adapted by FCD 2009.