The returning soldier - Poem by an 11 year old schoolgirl


An 11-year-old schoolgirl, Anny Politzer, wrote this poem about a soldier returning to Vienna. He sees St Stephen’s Cathedral, and is transfixed. There is peace in Vienna, a word that is very special to him. He can’t help but think of the front from which he has come, and where so many of his comrades have died. They will never see their home country again. For them, everything is lost.

The war collection of the Imperial Library includes numerous submissions of poems from the civilian population.


Here is peace!
With difficulty I walk through the streets.
I cannot keep my tired eyes
From St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Here is peace!
What a lovely word!
And when I think of that place
Where so many are lying!
Poor fellows!
You will no longer see my beautiful Vienna.
For you everything, everything is gone.
Poor fellows!

Full title:
The returning soldier - Poem by an 11 year old schoolgirl
c. 1914-1918
Poem / Manuscript
© Öesterreichische Nationalbibliothek
Held by
Öesterreichische Nationalbibliothek