The Sailors' Song

Original title: (Das Lied der Matrosen)
GDR, 1958, 118 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

A heroic epic work detailing the German Revolution that occurred at the end of WWI.


News of the Russian Revolution has swept the world, fuelling rebellions on land and sea. Sailors Lobke and Kasten are sentenced to death for their political agitation, and when a member of the firing squad, the socialist sailor Steigert, cannot bring himself to shoot them, he is arrested. Steigert's friends receive Vladimir Lenin's call for global peace on board the Prince Heinrich.


With the end of the war approaching, the German Imperial Navy Command decides to send all its ships on a last-ditch suicide mission in the English Channel, giving rise to a mutiny in the port city of Kiel. This quickly spreads to become a revolution, but the sailors' political differences—they are Social Democrats, Independent Socialists, and Spartacists—ultimately cause the uprising to fail.


By early 1919, however, many of the rebel sailors can attend the founding congress of the new Communist Party of Germany.

Streaming Only

The Sailors' Song

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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