Rammstein Donaukinder lyric with English translation

Donauquell dein Aderlass 
Wo Trost und Leid zerfließen 
Nichts Gutes liegt verborgen nass 
In deinen feuchten Wiesen 

Keiner weiss was hier geschah 
Die Fluten rostigrot 
Die Fische waren atemlos 
Und alle Schwämme tot 
An den Ufern in den Wiesen 
Die Tiere wurden krank 
Aus den Augen in den Fluss 
Triebabscheulicher Gestank 

Wo sind die Kinder
Niemand weisst was hier geschehen 
Keiner hat etwas gesehen 
Wo sind die Kinder
Niemand hat etwas gesehen

Mütter standen bald am Strom 
Und weinen eine Flut 
Auf die Felder durch die Leiche
Stieg das Leid in alle Teiche 
Schwarze Fahnen auf der Stadt
Alle Ratten fett und satt
Die Brummen giftig allerort
Und die Menschen soviel fort

Wo sind die Kinder	
Niemand weisst was hier geschehen
Keiner hat etwas gesehen
Wo sind die Kinder
Niemand hat etwas gesehen

Donauquell dein Aderlass
Wo Trost und Leid zerfließen
Nichts Gutes liegt verborgen nass
In deinen feuchten Wiesen

Wo sind die Kinder
Niemand weisst was hier geschehen
Keiner hat etwas gesehen
Wo sind die Kinder
Niemand hat etwas gesehen

Lyric © Rammstein
Donau Spring your bloodletting/bleeding
Where comfort and sorrow dissolve
Nothing good lies hidden, wet
in your damp meadows

No one knows what happened here
The floods (are) rusty red
The fishes were breathless
And all sponges dead
At the banks in the meadows
The animals became sick
Out of the eyes into the river
(the) stench (of) vile urge

Where are the children?
No one knows what happened here
Nobody saw anything
Where are the children?
No one saw anything.

Soon mothers stand at the stream
And cry a flood
On the fields through the dead body
The sorrow climbed into all ponds
Black flags on the city
All rats fat and satisfied
The poisonous humming everywhere
And the people so far away

Where are the children?
No one knows what happened here
Nobody saw anything
Where are the children?
No one saw anything.

Donau Spring your bloodletting/bleeding
Where comfort and sorrow dissolve
Nothing good lies hidden, wet
in your damp meadows

Where are the children?
No one knows what happened here
Nobody saw anything
Where are the children?
No one saw anything.

Translation © Affenknecht.com

Submitted by Dill

The song deals with an accident near Baia Mare, in Romania, which occurred on 30th Januar 2000.

Extremely heavy rainfall on 30 January caused a dam to breach, causing 100.000 m³ of water to flood a goldmine and carry with it app. 100 ton of heavy metals and sodium cyanide into the nearby river Donau (German name for the Danube). The poison was carried along the river, causing havoc in several countries; drinking water became poisoned, and people fled the rivers’ surroundings to escape the deadly poison, which quickly destroyed all life in and around the river itself.

Lots of children were obviously affected by this disaster, but the name ‘Donaukinder’ (‘Danube Children’) more probably refers metaphorically to the fish in the river, seen as the ‘children’ of the Danube/Donau; the fish obviously suffered most directly the full force of this disaster and the absence of fish in the river is the most obvious consequence of the disaster. Hence, the song rhetorically asks: ‘Wo sind die Kinder?’ (‘Where are the children?’). Furthermore, the German name for Baia Mare, where the breach occured, is ‘Frauenbach’, meaning ‘Woman-River’, which sustains the metaphor of comparing River/Fish to Mother/Children.

81 COMMENTS

  1. From listening to this I’m pretty sure it’s “Deiche” (dikes) not “Leiche” (dead body) and “Brunnen” (wells) not “Brummen” (humming). The phrases make much more sense in the context of the song with those water related words too. Should be changed to

    Auf die Felder durch die *Deiche*/On the fields through the *dikes*

    and

    Die *Brunnen* giftig allerort/The poisonous *wells* everywhere

  2. Just a little extra information: the poisonous solutions was carried directly to river Tisza (Theiß in german), and through that later to Danube (Donau, Duna).

  3. Transylvania is Hungary, not Romania. It does not matter what the treaty of Trianon says, you cannot displace an ethnic population with mere lines on a map.

  4. “Schwämme” –> *Schwäne –> Swans
    “Aus den Augen” –> *Aus den Auen –> from the wetlands
    “Triebabscheulicher Gestank” –> *trieb abscheulicher Gestank” –> flew a putrid smell
    “Niemand weisst” –> *Niemand weiss
    “durch die Leiche” –> *durch die Deiche –> through the banks
    “Die Brummen” –> *Die Brunnen –> the fountains
    “Menschen soviel fort” –> *Menschen zogen fort –> People moved away

  5. Hi there :o) I’m really grateful for this site and the translations you’ve gone to such trouble to provide here. Thank you! I’m with GenericFan on that 8th line in above: where it reads “Und alle Schwämme tot”, I’m hearing “Und alle Schwäne tot” – all the SWANS, rather than sponges – which makes a lot more sense to me given that Till is referring to a river not the sea…? Cheers! Jay

  6. Pretty sure it should be “Und alle Schwäne tot” and not “Und alle Schwämme tot”. Swans, not sponges.

  7. I just wanted to point out that Europe banned cyanide mining processes on May 2010. Rammstein released this album in 2009.

    Leading up to the ban, many environmental groups were battling against companies who kept trying to start up new gold-cyanide mining projects in Romania. Some Romanians wanted them, as they were promised to generate billions of dollars. Some Romanians, and most of the countries around them, were very against this due to the negative environmental impacts.

    Rammstein sings about natural elements in a lot of their songs. Them feeling a connection to this river being polluted makes perfect sense.

  8. @TheAustrianDude: Kind of funny how every criticism you threw out has been addressed in the comments already. For example, the Augen/Auen thing, that was in the very first comment. Also, if you had read most of them, you would have seen that the concentration camp/nazi thing was pretty resolutly ended. At least read all of the comments before you decide to be a dick.

  9. and the owner of this “factury” was a Australian/Romanian Companie. not be a kiddy: “wä wö it wasnt a romanian” it was you 🙂

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