Monday, August 8, 2011

Marcinelle mine desaster

On august 8  1956 a fire broke out in Marsinelle, a coal mine in the French speaking part of Belgium; 262 people perished. 136 Italian miners and 65 Belgian.  The death toll of Italian immigrants in coal mines and caused by other work related accidents comes to over six hundred in Belgium alone between 1946 and 1956...

The English translation of a traditional  miners poem from the Ruhr area:


Glückauf! GoodLuck! The words you hear from all,
Who stand by us down in the mine;
It speaks of loyalty and standing tall
Also in the worst of time.

Glückauf! The song that everyone sings,
Who with us hand in hand
The black gold to the surface brings
For the good of the fatherland.

Glückauf! You hear it all around
In shafts dark and deep.
St Barbara protect, do safe us keep
From the Tommy knockers cracking sound.

Glückauf! Be it also your last hello,
When you take your leave
On that road we all must go,
The one that gives nobody real reprieve.

You'll find the original German poem Glückauf here

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