Song

Stand Fast

Original Title: Fest Steht

Performer: Men's Choir directed by Erich Frost
Lyricist: Erich Frost
Composer: Erich Frost

Erich Frost (1900–87), a musician and devout Jehovah's Witness, was active in the religious resistance to Hitler's authority. Caught smuggling pamphlets from Switzerland to Germany, he was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin where he composed this song in 1942. Later deported to a labor camp at Alderney, Channel Islands, Frost survived the war and returned to Germany to serve the Watchtower Society. "Fest steht," reworked in English as "Forward, You Witnesses," is among the most popular of Jehovah's Witness hymns. This performance, evoking some of the song's original spirit, took place under Frost's direction at an event held in Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 1960s.

Standing firm in a great and difficult time
Is a people dedicated to the struggle for their King.
He teaches us to fight and win,
He teaches us to fight and win.
Bright is the eye and calm the blood;
Their sword is the truth; they wield it well:
What serves the enemy all its lies?
What serves the enemy all its lies?

refrain:
Jehovah's Witnesses, undeterred!
The struggle is fierce,
The battle rages wild.
The fetters too are binding,
The chains are heavy,
But mighty the arm which shields you!
Jehovah's Witnesses in enemy land
And far from the homeland, exiled from loved ones;
Lift up your gazes to Him,
Whose hand is already extended to you!

2.
Truth and justice, perverted by men;
The name of Jehovah, debased by devils:
These must reign once again!
These must reign once again!
Holy war--from the Highest Mouth--
It is called at the right hour
For the weak, which it makes heroes,
For the weak, which it makes heroes.

refrain

3.
Innocent in their cells, robbed of their freedom!
Scornfully the enemies raise up their heads:
They would like to rule over us,
They would like to rule over us.
Yet we, we hear in every place
Only the commandments of our King.
Only he can safely guide us.
Only he can safely guide us!

refrain

4.
Enemies' threats, friends' supplications
To desist from the struggle:
They can never shake our resolve.
They can never shake our resolve.
Hunger and beatings and harsh slavery
Are the cruel reward for our constancy,
And many are they that must grow pale.
And many are they that must grow pale!

refrain

5.
But one day the day will come which liberates
All those who are dedicated to the Highest Glory
From Satan's dreary fetters,
From Satan's dreary fetters!
Jubilation and singing prevail through the land,
Echoing from every mountain.
The Kingdom of our Lord is risen,
The Kingdom of our Lord is risen.

refrain