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The Final Solution is the fifth song on the Coat of Arms album by Sabaton.


Information

  • According to Joakim, the song can be considered as a ballad, along The Ballad of Bull and A Lifetime of War. [1]
  • According to Joakim, in retrospect the more experimental sound in the song worked well.[2]
  • In 2010, the band visited the German Nazi Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birekanu. The Final Solution was used as a soundtrack for the 9th episode of World War Tour videoblog which showed pictures taken during the visit. The video was dedicated to the victims of the camp.

Background

Joakim: "It's a kind of oppressive song."[3]

Pär: "Regarding "The Final Solution", it was one of the major events, one of the major things that happened in World War II. A couple of years ago, Sabaton got some sort of reputation that we were neo-Nazis somehow. This rumor stretched all the way into our last album. So to nail the rumor completely, we decided to write this song. That will definitely show that we are not participating in such political nonsense."[4]

Joakim: "(...) It was the first time that we paid close attention to how we should deal with a subject like this. It is a song full of emotions and, at the same time, one of the most important subjects of the Second World War. It was impossible for us not to approach it."[5]

Joakim: "And then we’ve got “Final Solution,” which is not really metal at all, except for some parts. So we always listen to it and ask, “Can we do this?” And then we always come back to it and ask, “Do we like this song? Yes. Is it a good song? Yes. OK, it’s on the fucking album!” We wouldn’t do this for the heck of it, but if we do a song that’s closer to Deep Purple, and we really like it, it’s gonna be on the album. If we do something that’s more like Pantera, then that’s on the album too. So for one song or two, we’ll push sometimes because it’s fun, and a good song is a good song."[6]

Pär: "(...) we have a lot of people misunderstanding, but lately it has been easier for us. In the album “Coat of Arms” we did a song, probably on one of the weirdest subjects we could have done, in which we wrote about the holocaust, the song “Final Solution”. People thought “If you do this what will you do…”; well, we’re taking a stand that we’re not Nazis and that those people who still believe it even after that, simply can’t read or listen..."[7] 

Joakim: "The biggest surprise?! Oh!! That's hard! I will probably say the song "The Final Solution". It's a deliberate choice to make a little bit controversial song with the lyrics. The songs in this album are heavy, and this one is not so heavy and it's not about a battle. It's the first song, for a very long time, that doesn't really talk about a battle. I really think it's "The Final Solution"."[8]

Historic fact

The Holocaust was a genocide in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and its collaborators killed about six million Jews, including 1.5 million children and about two-thirds of the nine million Jews who lived in Europe at that time. The persecution and genocides were carried out in stages, culminating in what Nazis termed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. The German government established a network of concentration camps in 1933, then passed laws to exclude Jews from civil society in 1935, ghettos following the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. In 1941, as Germany conquered new territories in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered about two million Jews, partisans and others often in mass shootings. By the end of 1942, victims were being regularly transported by freight trains to extermination camps where most were systematically killed in gas chambers. This continued until the end of the war in Europe, in 1945. Other victims of Nazi crimes included ethnic Poles, soviet citizens and POW, Slavs, Romanis, communists, homosexuals, Freemasons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the mentally and physically disabled. (Text credits: Gregory Sandoz)[9]

Live

  • It was frequently played in 2010 and 2011 on World War Tour.
  • At Rock In Vienna 2015, when Sabaton played live with an orchestra, the song was played only by the orchestra, without any input from the band.
  • The Final Solution was brought back for The Last Tour in 2017 and 2018, because Chris never played it live and it's been a long time since the band played it. The band performed the song on acoustic guitars and with a piano.

Joakim: "That would be really bad if someone who didn't know us saw a video recording of everyone singing the line "Enter The Gates, Auschwitz Awaits". We discussed this very often within the band and only recently talked to our stage manager. We decided that we would play this song in an acoustic version. Even though we are a very "untrue" band with such things and jump around a lot and animate the fans, we simply cannot do it when we sing about how people are cruelly killed. That would be too much of a good thing even for us. This version would not work at the festivals, so we leave out the song there."[10]

Joakim: "(...) The song “Final Solution” for example, we never do any jumping or any crowd chanting in that song because that would be a little bit over the top. And everything we do is already over the top anyway so. (laughs)"[11]

Joakim: "we have a song about the Holocaust called “The Final Solution” and we only do it on headline concerts and when we totally change the set. But yeah, it’s certainly a paradox when we’re singing about half a million people dying and between songs I’m making jokes about us looking like The Village People or something like that and we’re laughing. But we are very serious about our music, and I think there are too many real heroes in history that have been forgotten, so why make up new ones for example. So we write about something serious. But on the other hand, myself, when I go to a heavy metal concert, I don’t want to reflect on a half a million people dying. I want to have fun, enjoy some good beer and enjoy some nice company, and listen to music I enjoy. So for good or bad, the serious side of our lyrics takes one or two step aside when we’re playing live."[12]

Chris: (...) and then there's the incredibly emotional new version of "The Final Solution". (...) "We discussed in the US what we could do in Europe. Then the idea came up with 'The Final Solution' and we said we have to do that now, because it has been years since we had it in the setlist. And I had never played it live."[13]

Pär: "It's a more moody song; it works in certain circumstances. We decided not to include it at festivals because... At a headlining Sabaton concert, everyone is there to see us, and they have a different opinion and perspective on it. But at festivals, we are there to win new fans. I don't think making people feel absolutely bad as the band's first impression is the best way to attract new fans!"[14]

Lyrics

Country in depression, nation in despair
One man seeking reasons everywhere
Growing hate and anger, the Führer's orders were precise
Who was to be blamed and pay the price

Wicked propaganda turning neighbours into foes
Soldiers of the Third Reich searching homes
And then their former friends are watching as they are round up one by one
Times of persecutions just begun

Ever since it started on Kristallnacht '38
When liberty died and truth was denied
Sent away on trains, sent on a one-way trip to Hell
Enter the gates, Auschwitz awaits

When freedom burns, the final solution
Dreams fade away and all hope turns to dust
When millions burn, the curtain has fallen
Lost to the world as they perish in flames

There was a country in depression, there was a nation in despair
One man finding reasons everywhere
Then there was raising hate and anger, the Führer's orders still apply
Who was to be blamed and sent to die!

Ever since it started on Kristallnacht '38
When liberty died, and truth was denied
Sent away on trains, sent on a one-way trip to Hell
Enter the gates, Auschwitz awaits

When freedom burns, the final solution
Dreams fade away and all hope turns to dust
When millions burn, the curtain has fallen
Lost to the world as they perish in flames

When freedom burns, the final solution
Dreams fade away and all hope turns to dust
When millions burn, the curtain has fallen
Lost to the world as they perish in flames

Video

SABATON - WWT 19 Auschwitz Birkenau (OFFICIAL BEHIND THE SCENES)

SABATON - WWT 19 Auschwitz Birkenau (OFFICIAL BEHIND THE SCENES)

References

  1. metalhead.ro
  2. sabaton-french-division.fr
  3. auxportesdumetal.com
  4. wormwoodchronicles.net
  5. paperblog.fr
  6. metalunderground.com
  7. metalblast.net
  8. auxportesdumetal.com
  9. Sabaton.net
  10. powermetal.de
  11. rockurlife.net
  12. 100percentrock.com
  13. metalinside.ch
  14. radiometal.com
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