What the soldiers in Wolfenstein are saying

soldiers in Wolfenstein saying

Back in the early days of 3D gaming, voice acting was a very rare occurrence. When you had to fit a game on a 1.44mb floppy disk, you didn’t have much room for high quality audio recordings. When non MIDI audio was used, the sound quality was typically compressed to the point where it was difficult to make out exactly what was being said. When you encountered a new enemy it was fairly hard to know what the soldiers in wolfenstein were saying.

Wolfenstein 3D featured several audio clips that would be triggered when an enemy would detect you and when you killed that enemy. All the enemies speak German, which adds a layer of difficulty for English speakers to understand. However, the grammar is meant to be so poor that a lot of what is said in this game, makes very little sense. So, what are the soldiers in Wolfenstein saying?

Tan Soldier (Guard)

The standard soldier is one of the first enemies you will come across. He is wearing a tan color uniform and is equipped with a pistol.
Alert: Achtung (Attention)
Death: Aaagh

Blue Soldier (SS)

These lads are more formidable as they have machine guns. They also take a lot more damage before they go down.
Alert: Schutzstaffel (Elite Guard)
Death: Mein Leben (My Life)

White Soldier (Officer)

This is like the captain or something. He is much faster than the rest of the enemies. He is wearing a white uniform.
Alert: Spion (Spy)
Death: Nein, so was! (Well, I never)

Wizard Hitler

Why is he floating like some wizard? Who knows, but it’s Hitler and hes having a great laugh by the looks of it.
Alert: Tod, Hund (Die, Dog)
Death: Laughte

Hans Grösse

We will start with his name. Hans is a male name in Germany. Grösse means big or large. I don’t think it is used as a surname. In English it would be more likely to see this as a nickname written as “Big Hans” or something like that. I think this is just an example of the dreadful use of German in this game.
Alert: Guten Tag (Good day)
Death: Mutti (mommy

Dr. Schabbs

One of the least threatening bosses in the game. Just some mad Nazi doctor. His death phrase seems kind of strange since “himmel” is the German word for sky. So maybe he is saying “My god in the sky” or “My god in Heaven”. Google translate seems to think that its “Oh my god”. Guess it will take a native speaker to translate this properly
Alert: Laugh
Death: Mein Gott in Himmel! (My god in heaven)

Otto Giftmacher

Despite what his name might suggest, Otto is not a gift maker. “Gift” is German for poison. So he would be Otto Poisonmaker. With BJ being an absolute monster in size, it’s funny that this guy calls you small.
Alert: Eine kleine Amerikaner (A small American).
Death: Donnerwetter (My Word)

Gretel Grösse

You guessed it, the sister of Hans and equally as large. Their poor mother must be in a wheelchair after giving birth. Gretel has quite a strange voice, must be some testosterone abuse going on. Her lines are particularly hard to translate, but we can guess that she isn’t talking about busses when she dies.
Alert: Kein Durchgan (No Tresspassing)
Death: Mein Busse (My Repentance)

General Fettgesicht

Big lad, sounds like he is eating something when he speaks. At least its more clear than Gretel.
Alert: Erlauben Sie, bitte (Allow me please)
Death: Rosenknospe (Rosebud)

Mecha Hitler

He decided to give up the wizarding life for something a little more intimidating. It’s just a mecha suit though, he didn’t go for a complete transformation. The sound effect when he dies sounds particularly nasty.
Alert: Die, Allied schweinhund (Die Allied pigdog)
Death Lose Suit: Scheisse (Shit)
Death Final: Eva, auf wiedersehen (Eva, Goodbye)

So there you have it, the main lines of dialogue. Now you know what the soldiers in Wolfenstein are saying. It may not make sense and the translations make less sense, but at least you have learned something new

For those who want to listen back to all of the audio. This video will go over all of it to show you what the soldiers in Wolfenstein are saying with translations and subtitles.


  1. Native German speaker here.

    “Mein Gott im Himmel” is actually surprisingly correct. “Himmel” means both heaven and sky in German, the language does not differentiate between the two. So it would literally translate into “My god in heaven”, which you could loosely translate to “Oh my god”.

    It is a slightly wordy way of saying this, but it is definitively something that a more old-fashioned person could say. More common would be “Lieber Gott im Himmel” (Dear god in heaven)

  2. Native German speaker here.
    The German in Wolfenstein 3d is quite bad, grammar wise and spoken with a heavy accent, likely recorded by an American (duh).
    Gretel Grösse could also say ” Mein Busen! ”
    Which means “My bosom!”.
    This would fit how an American would speak “Busen” with an heavy accent.

    There is no englisch word for “Donnerwetter”, which is a german shoutout when you are surprised.
    Best fitting translation would be “Gosh!” .
    However “Donner” means “thunder” and “Wetter” means “weather” literally. But like I said before, the best translation is “gosh”.

    • Thanks for this, great to have some educated insight to the language

  3. Native here, too

    think over the game is 30 years old now, and when they maybe have asked some older german speaking person that time for help, it could explain the little old fashioned style.

    My grandmother, born 1910, was using f. e.
    “Mein Gott im Himmel”:
    as above mentioned it is used for “my god”, “oh my god”, but she and her elder friends and all the people here at the countryside used it only for more horrifying, shocking imcidents/moments. When sth is really bad or messed up. It is really “bigger” than a simple “Mein Gott” or “Oh mein Gott”.

    So people even clapped their hands together and left them closed when saying “Mein Gott im Himmel”, with shivering voice and in some cases a shocked face. So it’s sth. serious :0)

    And also they used the “Donnerwetter” here, but in local dialect it’s “Dunner…”

    “Donnerwetter” you say in true respect to someones achievement, as acknowledgment.

    It is also used for a kind of “my god/gosh”

    And “ein Donnerwetter erleben” means you will get into some trouble. F. e. your father found out, you were caught smoking at school. “Das gibt ein Donnerwetter” :)

    I cannot make out sth really good for Busse/Buße and I do not hear a “kn” for Rosenknospe, but who knows

    Was fun playing it as a teenager on Amiga
    that time.

    • Thank you so much for your insight on this, it is really interesting to hear a native speaker share some thoughts on this

  4. The brown soldiers (Guards) don’t actually say “Achtung!” They say “Halt, Stopp!”

Leave A Reply