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February 5, 2011
The "Preußenlied" (literally "Song of Prussia" in German) was the national anthem of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1,830-1,840. Because of its opening lyrics, it has also been known as "Ich bin ein Preuße, kennt ihr meine Farben?" ("I am a Prussian, know ye my colours?").
Bernhard Thiersch (1,793-1,855), the director of a Dortmund Gymnasium, wrote the first six strophes of the song in Halberstadt to honor the birthday of King Frederick William III of Prussia in 1,830. The melody was composed in 1,832 by August Neithardt (1,793-1,861), the Royal Music Director of the 2nd Garde-Grenadier-Regiment of the Prussian Army. Dr. F. Th. Schneider added a seventh strophe in 1,851.
The "Preußenlied" replaced the previous anthem, "Borussia" and was then succeeded by "Heil dir im Siegerkranz".
Because almost all Germans east of the Oder were expelled after World War II, the "Preußenlied" is sometimes sung by refugee organizations, such as the Territorial Association of East Prussia. It is also sometimes sung by far right extremists.