Rudolf Mauersberger was a German choir director and composer who was born on 29 January 1889 in Mauersberg of Marienberg (Saxony, Germany) and died on 22 February 1971 in Dresden. After positions in Aachen and Eisenach, he became director of the renowned Kreuzchor in Dresden in 1930, a position he held until his death. In May 1933, Mauersberger became a member of the NSDAP; There are strong indications though that he tried to minimize the influence of the NS-Ideology and in particular of the Hitler_Jugend onto the choir. He refused to stage NS-songs with the choir, and continued to perform the works of banned composers such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Günter Raphael, at least as late as 1938.
Probably his most famous work is the hymn Wie liegt die Stadt so wüst (How lonely sits the city), written after the destruction of Dresden in February 1945. The text is taken from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, verses 1,126.96.36.199; 2,15; 5,17.20-21. The work is often seen as a bemoaning of the destroyed city, but given the biblical context, it can also apply to the whole of Germany and her people, the destruction of the country being punishment for its iniquities.