Deutschland – the question of nationalism vs patriotism and how a country struggles with its past….

“Deutschland” shouts the masculine voice of Till Lindemann, frontman of the German hard rock band Rammstein.

“So what”, you might think, after all people should “Deutschland” at football matches. Or “USA”, “England” etc for that matter.

But not long ago, things weren’t that easy as they are now….

I was born in 1982 in western Germany.  I recall that displaying a German flag at home or in your garden when I was in my teens was a taboo. In fact those signs of patriotism were seen as nationalistic and right-wing and people would immediately put you in that corner.

I recall that at the end of the 1990s a political from the Green party told a conservative politician that he has the same mentality like a neo nazi. What did he do? He openly said that “he’s proud to be German”.

Things changed slowly but by the time Germany hosted the world championship in 2006, those were things of the past. The young generation (myself and younger) didn’t feel anything about shouting “Deutschland” and painting our faces in black-red-gold while wearing “Germany” T-Shorts or holding a flag.

So what does Rammstein have to do with all that you might think? In their new video, they’re talking about this issue.

Deutschland – will dich lieben und verdammen… Deutschland – meine Liebe kann ich dir nicht geben…. 

Germany – I want to love you but also damn you…. Germany – I can’t give you my love… 

What Rammstein did here isn’t just some hard rock music. ‘

It’s art.

It’s brilliant.

It’s magnificent.

This video shows you Germany’s (often violent) history. From the Romans to the Middle Ages all the way through Nazi Germany communism until today.

What this song / video is not is right-wing propaganda. On the contrary. Germania, for example, is portrayed by the fabulous Rubby Commey. She’s not someone on the right would describe as of teutonic decent (she’s black).

For me, this song as a German (particularly someone who’s been living abroad for half my adult life) got me thinking about my own feelings towards zzzeee Vaterland…. And now I realised I ran out of wine…. Damn….

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Deutschland – the question of nationalism vs patriotism and how a country struggles with its past….

Add yours

  1. I must say that I really like that song as well. The problem will be that foreigners won’t understand the concept of the lyrics and interpret all kind of things into this song and video (same as Germans don’t have a clue about many of those english rap songs…)

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