Feature

Germany: A musical symbol of reunification

Should Germany update its national anthem by adding the original first verse of East Germany&rsquo;s anthem? asked Heribert Prantl in<strong> </strong><em>S&uuml;ddeutsche Zeitung.</em>

Heribert Prantl
Süddeutsche Zeitung

It’s time to update our national anthem, said Heribert Prantl. This summer, the Bundesrepublik is celebrating its 60th birthday, and later this year we Germans will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. What better present could the country give itself than an enhancement of its anthem? The old verses that began “Deutschland über alles” (Germany above all) and “German women, German loyalty” were dropped after World War II, because of their association with Nazis, and nobody wants to sing those again.

But why not add the original first verse of East Germany’s anthem? The stanza, which begins, “Risen from the ruins,” was banned in 1973 because it contained the phrase “Germany, united Fatherland,” and the Communist rulers of East Germany rejected the idea that they would ever unite with West Germany. But during the 1989 protests that brought about the collapse of the Berlin Wall, many East Germans sang that phrase defiantly, expressing their longing for a reunited country.

Now we have such a country. Nothing could be more fitting than for us to “knit together the Western and Eastern verses” to fully express “the unity of all of Germany.”

Recommended

Civilian death toll in Ukraine tops 4,000, U.N. says
Bombed school in Luhansk
fighting to survive

Civilian death toll in Ukraine tops 4,000, U.N. says

10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2022
Protesters outside the NRA convention
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2022

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru
Peru.
shaken up

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital
Senegal hospital fire
tragedy

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital

Most Popular

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?
Vladimir Putin.
Opinion

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?

Uvalde gunman was inside school for an hour as parents urged police to act
Uvalde school memorial
'Go in there! Go in there!'

Uvalde gunman was inside school for an hour as parents urged police to act

The Ginni Thomas problem
Ginni Thomas.
Opinion

The Ginni Thomas problem