Wednesday, February 29, 2012

German patriotism

There’s very little to say about my latest video, except that it is remarkably accurate (if I do say so myself). There was nothing particularly exciting about the production or the editing: all very boringly straightforward.

The song I parody is of course the German national anthem, which is universally (and incorrectly) known as Deutschland, Deutschland über alles; it is properly known as das Deutschlandlied (“the Germany song”). The first stanza, of course, does begin “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, / über alles der Welt” (“Germany, Germany above all, above all the world”). The problem is that while the song was originally intended as a call to unity — it was written at the time when the patchwork of tiny warring states I refer to was being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 19th century — the Nazis conveniently misinterpreted it to mean Germany was supreme. As a result, only the third verse actually constitutes the modern German national anthem: “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” it calls for; unity and justice and freedom.

The map showing the patchwork of little states is real: it’s a map of the Holy Roman Empire, around 1400. It was a bit saner by the time Bismarck unified Germany in 1871, but still a sight to behold.

Finally, in case you’re wondering, the preview thumbnail shows me against the Bavarian flag (or one variant of it: the “lozenge” variant). Just to drive home the point about “regional pride”.

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