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suggested cuts[edit]

Suggest cutting all this " An artist was invited to perform the national anthem a cappella at the opening ceremony of the new Allianz Arena stadium in Munich in June 2005. German singer Sarah Connor made two mistakes, though. In anticipation of the later brüderlich (brotherly) and possibly impressed by the floodlight, instead of "Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes" (Prosper in this fortune's blessing) she sang "Brüh im Lichte dieses Glückes" (Boil in the light of this fortune). In June 2006 at the same stadium, the proper refrain was spontaneously sung by the crowd during the first half of the FIFA World Cup 2006 playoff game to express joy about the early 2:0 lead of Germany over Sweden, possibly the first ever use of this refrain in such circumstances." because it's really not interesting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I suggest to cut out the whole "pop culture" part, because it is completely irrelevant to this topic. Who cares if some stupid comedian tried to establish his own German national anthem? -- (talk) 15:50, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Verboten to sing the first two stanzas[edit]

pardon me, but a 'das lied der deutschen' is totally unknown in germany. the name of the song is 'deutschlandlied' and actually is the third stanza (stave,strophe) the german national Anthem. furthermore is it forbidden to sing the first two stanza, which includes former borders to germany. my mother is born in austria and told that this song was also the austrian national anthem with of course different words. with other words ' IT IS FORBIDDEN IN GERMANY TO SING "deutschland über alles", cause it belongs to the first stanza. [unsigned comment]

No, this is an Urban Legend. It is not forbidden in Germany to sing the first two stanzas.
--Eberon 19:03, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It is not forbidden to sing the first and second stanza but you could get into real trouble with the law because of "Erregung öffentlichen Ärgernisses". (talk) 13:34, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

it is highly inappropriate but not forbidden to sing the first 2 stanzas. The original Title of the song was "Das Lied der Deutschen (Deutschlandlied)" Deelkar 04:57, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
"Highly inappropriate" is an exaggeration. A part of the population (depending on political viewpoint) finds it inappropriate to sing the first stanza. The second stanza offends nobody. -- 11:04, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

As far as I know(and I am german) it is forbidden by law to sing the first two stanzas in public. SO it is not just highly inappropriate but actually really against the law.

Well, what can I say? You are mistaken. Arbor 12:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I am also german. It is not forbidden, period! But it is quite strange. Today only Neo-Nazis and exreme right people sing the first stanza (the second is without any problems, except that the stanza is quite ridiculous) to provocate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Why am I mistaken?prove that.As far as I know the allies decla red the stanzas to be illegal in 1945 and this was never declared to be invalid.

All allied declarations to that effect (if they ever existed), became null and void with German independence.

i'm also from germany and it's forbidden to sing 'deutschland über alles'. i'm not sure which stanza this is, but the other one and the third one are not forbidden. but noone sings another stanza than the third one.

Would you believe that it is not forbidden to sing the first two stanzas if a German judge said so? If you do, please listen: It is NOT against the law, it is not "forbidden". As said before it is highly inappropriate and in most cases an expression of a jingoistic attitude. --Psynus 22:04, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

It's not forbidden to sing the first stanza and the name "Lied der Deutschen" does exist. Everything that that Austrian ignorant said is wrong. "Mein Kamp" is forbidden and swastikas are. That's about all. Yeah, the combination SS in a number plate is forbidden too.

"Mein Kampf" is not forbidden. See Mein_kampf#Current_availability —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hanszarkow (talkcontribs) 16:50, August 28, 2007 (UTC)


First let me say that most Germans I know consider the FIRST stanza as at least inappropriate, although describing historical borderlines. It is easy to understand why people in- and outside of Germany might have a problem with referring to these geographical informations as "Germany".

The SECOND stanza is, in my opinion, much more fitting for some drinking song than for a national anthem.

Since 1991 (following an exchange of letters between the then sitting German President and the then German Chancellor) is the official German anthem. Although this just made official the common practice of using the THIRD stanza as unofficial German anthem since 1949.

What some people ran into problems with were dissuations (can anyone offer a better translation for the German word "Abmahnung" LEG) to webmasters of internet pages which for some legitimate reason quoted the complete text of the Deutschlandlied. They sometimes were accused of promoting nazi ideology, which would be illegal in Germany. Sometimes the dissuations were issued because of the contents of the webpage itself, but most cases I recall were because of offensive guestbook entries which the webpage operator had not removed soon enough. Also there were some problems with materials which the webpages linked to. After all it was a game of "CONTEXT IS KING" which some organisation in my oppinion misused and thereby helped to create this myth.

CONCERNING CAR TAGS: It is common practice not to issue tags which have the letter-combinations HJ, NZ, KZ, NS, SA, SS on them.

Maybe it would be good to explain a little bit about the structure of a German tag for people from outside Germany? OK, the tags are separated into three areas. Altogether there can be no more than eight digits on a tag. The first section has one (big city or county) to three (smaller county) letters which refer to the issuing county. These are followed by one or two letters which are random by default but can be chosen for a small fee. These two letter are used as initials many times. Should somebodies initials incidentially be the same as one of the above combination, he would have to maybe reverse them (if possible) or think of something else. The third part has one to four numbers which may also be selected if desired (often used for birthyears or similar). FYI: There are some special rules for tags for official vehicle, police cars and military vehicles which i intentionally left out as they are not helpful in this regard.

CONCERNING SWASTIKAS: Although the display of Swastikas is a sure thing to run into legal trouble, it is not forbidden to use! It becomes forbidden as soon as it is used in a context that could be seen as promoting nazi ideology. As I can't imagine many other ways to wisely use a swastika for that leaves the use for documentation and of course in movies and such. If the use of a swastika would be illegal, the Movie "Indiana Jones 3" would probably eb thirty minutes shorter here in Germany and very hard to follow.

CONCERNING MEIN KAMPF: Basically the same as with the swastika, but with the added issue that the state Bavaria holds the copyright to this book until 2015 and intentionally suppresses any new editions in Germany (in my opinion with good reason). The question is: Who would want to read this book? The answer comes back as: nazis and historians. I think its a good thing that the first group is kept away from that book, but I think it is important that the second continues to have access to this book. It remains to be seen if the will be a law by 2015 which regulates the use of Mein Kampf.

mindbender 23:59, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all your clarifying statements. This is so annoying, all these people believing what they talk about in the pub or hear in television ... The translation for "Abmahnung" is cease-and-desist letter. JensMueller 03:02, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

As a native German and a scholar of social science: No part of the German anthem is forbidden, anybody who claims different should please provide some evidence for his or her claim (e.g. official sources such as the German Federal Ministry of Interior). However, in practice most people only sing the third stanza. The first line of the first stanza is mostly perceived as being offensive, a view that simply neglects the historical context of the anthem (the unification of all German states was highly popular after the Napoleonic Wars; "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" simply refers to the dream of unification and not of some German superiority (although our beer is not too bad ;)). The book MEIN KAMPF is easy accessible in most libraries. It is NOT forbidden to own but to buy it (and most Nazis surely know how to download a German copy of the text from one of the various American racist organizations). Everything that was said about car tags is right. Nevertheless, the Nazis simply changed to numbers (e.g. 18 for A(dolf) H(itler) or 88 for H(eil) H(itler)). Hope this could bring some clarity in the discussion! Regards, Enrico

I´m from Germany, too, I´ve asked a german lawyer: You CAN sing the first stanza from the "Lied der Deutschen", but NOT in the public!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Why it should be forbidden to sing it in public? Because some stupid people here just cannot understand that it has nothing to do with the dirty Nazis that brought down this country 60 years ago? If you think about to be "political correct" you can change the names of the rivers in the song - so it makes since again. The dirty Nazis just abused the first stanza, because you can misunderstand the line "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles". But what they say today about it, is absolutly rediculious. It is a shame that one party destroyed so much in only twelve years in Germany. -- (talk) 00:22, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I have never understood, for the life of me, why Germany just doesn't end the "controversy" by changing the Meuse and the Memel to the Rhine and the Oder, and be done with it and sing the whole darn song that way. (talk) 20:44, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

I have some comments concerning the above remarks by "enrico" and "anonymus": First Enrico: Please try to see the difference between the German anthem and the song Deutschlandlied! The German anthem consists solely of the third stanza of the original, unamended text of Fallersleben's Deutschlandlied. Only this third stanza enjoys the legal protection that is provided for Germany's national anthem. Second Anonymus: I actually had written quite a bit concerning your post, but then figured that the words: "JUST TOTALLY INCORRECT!" would be the most fitting for your submission! RednebdniM 02:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

From 1952 to 1991 all three stanzas have been the national anthem (I'm German, I've learned them in school.) On official occasions only the third stanza was to be sung. It is not illegal to sing any part of the Lied der Deutschen in private or in public, though many think so (urban legend). Read the article in the German wikipedia, if you do not believe it. The whole anthem has been illegal between 1945 and 1949 as all national symbols have been. -- (talk) 15:10, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I went to school in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in the 1980s. All three stanzas were written in our school books. I remember that very well because I found the lyrics of the 2nd stanza of the "Song of the Germans" quite stupid. The 1st and 2nd stanzas were not forbidden in the 1980s, neither are they today. Anyway, due to the abusive usage by the Nazis you are considered extremely right-wing if you sing them. It's not illegal to sing them, but it's widely perceived that way. In public conception singing the 1st stanza is like running through the streets with a swastika flag, even though the intentions and the strict meaning of the lyrics are harmless. -- (talk) 17:16, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, I'm glad that the 1st stanza is no longer sung. Not for political correctness, but because for me it is Bavaria that comes over everything in the world and Germany is in itself but second, and first only in so far as Bavaria belongs to it. -- Mark the words "in the world", which are also in the actual 1st stanza. This is actually somewhat a restriction, as it leaves out among others God, the Church, Marriage, Justice, Human Rights... you get the idea. -- (talk) 20:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Again: translation "Recht" to "law" or "justice"[edit]

See also the sections Recht means Law and Lyrics and translation - bug above.

There are a lot of possible translations for "Recht", see here the results from Germany's most frequently used online translator. Thus, whether "law" or "justice" (or even "right") is appropriate, must be determined from the context. If you take a look at Deutschlandlied#Historical background and Deutschlandlied#Hoffmann's lyrics, it is clearly that "Recht" is claimed against the "Unrecht" (injustice) of monarchical states. Also, there is a strong relation to "Rechtsstaat".

Because also in a Police state and a Monarchy there are a lot of laws, especially against Freedom of speech, I think that "law" is an inappropriate translation, I would prefer "justice". Another idea: "Recht" might be translated as Rule of law, although that expression is a bit long, but that's what von Fallersleben wanted to express.

--Cyfal (talk) 13:50, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

"Justice" certainly is the best translation. I guess Hoffmann had the French motto "Liberté, egalité, fraternité" in his mind when he tried a German translation that fitted his rhyme scheme. What if he translated "egalité" to "Gerechtigkeit" and shortened it to "Recht" - accepting the tiny difference that does exist in the meaning. --Klausi 14:47, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Über Alles[edit] - interesting discussion on exactly what "Über Alles" means in this context, also discussed above in "Above All". The sense seems to be that "before all" would be a more accurate translation - it's not saying that Germany should rule above all but that it should be first in the hearts of its people. Is there a citeable discussion of this anywhere so that some of the interesting information on this talk page can make it into the article? — ciphergoth 11:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

it's not saying that Germany should rule above all but that it should be first in the hearts of its people. LOL, yeah, right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
that's what it actually means, if the meaning should be the one of ruling it would be "über allem", not "über alles". (talk) 00:11, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't know German, but I know that was indeed Hoffman von Fallersleben's intent. "Above all" is the common translation (though we don't have a source cited for our translation yet). —innotata 00:46, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Grammatically correct, "Deutschland über alles" translates better to "put Germany first". It meant an idea of a common Germany (as opposed to Kleinstaaterei) as the first in mind of German ethnicies. This basically is a common German rule in these territories and pretty much meets "Deutschland über allem" for these people - which directly translates to "German rule". "über alles in der Welt" describes better like "the most important effort in their world", it's actually not about German world domination. Oddly enough, the first stanza claims foreign European territories, which makes it inappropriate. — (talk) 21:48, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, it was not that foreign at the time of von Fallersleben. He gave pretty good landmarks of the area at the time where the German language was dominant. The poem is an example of the then existing ideas to reunite the German speaking (implying German culture) countries into one single state. (talk) 21:11, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


Would someone care to add a paragraph about the original manuscript being in the Berlinka (art collection) collection in Kraków? Which seems odd, to say the least. Sca (talk) 19:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Another variant[edit]

When I lived in Germany in the late 1970s, a work colleague used to sing a variant he remembered from the immediate post-war period that went something like:

Deutschland, Deustchland, ohne alles
Ohne butter, ohne brot...

I can't remember the rest of it. Could anyone supply this version, since it's similar to the 1921 variant already mentioned?

As for translations: My feeling about über, from the use of this word as I encountered it in similar contexts, is that it implies putting A ahead of B, preferring A over/to B, or giving priority to A over B; and, given the historical context in which it was written, that Deutschland über alles was intended to mean to give priority to wider, pan-German interests rather than the narrow interests of smaller groupings. Recht is as in Rechtsstaat: a state in which rule of law prevails. Fwiw, Jim_Lockhart (talk) 14:32, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Could it be this, by any chance? Double sharp (talk) 15:30, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit of 19 June 2008[edit]

The article could do with losing much of its repetition and details of history of the German world. That it was written perhaps with cultural enthusiasm but not with great attention to WP standards was shown by the overlinking.--SilasW (talk) 09:21, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The "Use after World War II" section still could use some cleanup as of now, most of its last three paragraphs are pretty much irrelevant.
As far as the Geography and history goes though, I'd keep it, since it's relevant in terms of the frequent misunderstanding as to the legality of the first stanza and its historic context (see also the discussions above). Unlike public display or possession of other Nazi-era symbols and propaganda, it is indeed not outright "illegal" to sing the first stanza. The official german national anthem is of course the third stanza which obviously includes legal protection from abuse and defamation of the national symbol and all that, but any other stanza is just, well, nothing but a song really.
However, consciously singing the first stanza is considered to be a political statement, largely due to the jingoistic "über alles" (above/before all) notion the way the Nazis interpreted it (regardless of von Fallersleben's original intention when he wrote it), and in line with the geographic definition of what then would be a territorial claim, since it covers a lot of area that is way beyond today's german borders. Today this claim is made by political groups on the far-right fringes (modern nationalists, neo-nazis, white supremacists, etc.), and they generally like to use the first stanza to express this as a provocation and as their proud credo, and their desire to re-erect a "Great Germany" in Nazi fashion as it once was. As such it is deemed offensive to Germany's neighbours in Europe (it's their territory being claimed in the first stanza), as well as to the German state as it exists today (which right-wing groups tend to reject). Awareness of this is definitely not a non-issue in today's Germany, and the article ought to express that. In short, culturally and politically the first stanza is understood to be, and by and large perceived as, the "Nazi anthem."
(Which should also explain why it was such an embarrassing blunder when Swiss TV put the incorrect lyrics up a while ago.) (talk) 22:20, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

The Belt[edit]

Is it possible to show some sort of documentation that the Belt referred to in the first stanza is Little Belt? Would it not be more logical if Fallersleben meant Femern Belt, the sea to the immediate north of traditional German territory? (talk) 07:08, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

It is described as the little Belt ("der (kleine) Belt") in the German Wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

A video with this song[edit]

This site: has this beautifull song.Agre22 (talk) 19:29, 19 August 2008 (UTC)agre22

Here is a video which is perhaps more representative of the significance of the song and especially of the Schutz and Trutze and the Deutsche Treue. . It shows the problematic aspects that are glossed over in this article. [[Mewnews (talk) 12:05, 21 January 2009 (UTC)]]


The entire premise of the Geography section seems a bit goofy to me. Hoffmann von Fallersleben wasn't a politician. He wasn't advocating specific, literal borders. He was a poet. He was just giving an approximation of where ethnic Germans lived. The use of bodies of water to encompass the German territory was a poetic technique, which according to the German Wikipedia, was borrowed from the medieval poet, Walther von der Vogelweide. Notice, for instance, that Maas and Memel both begin with M-- a nice alliteration.

The significance of the first stanza lies much more in the use of the term Deutschland, as it delineated a new concept for people to consider-- not the regional Bavaria or Baden or Prussia, but Deutschland, a unified state encompassing all those with common ethnicity, that would be "brüderlich zusammenhält" (held together with brotherly bonds). Hoffmann was advocating a common bond much more than he was advocating particular political borders.

So going into great detail about the history of the political borders and to what extent they've approximated what was mentioned in the song seems a bit specious to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Hoffmann sympathized with the German National Movement (Deutschnationale Bewegung) and therefore his lyrics and the entire Deutschlandlied are very political and related to this movement! This movement wanted to unify all germanspeaking people (whom they considered to be all ethnical Germans) in one German National State (that is why parts of Austria are covered by the borders written by Hoffmann). As an Austrian I am glad, that this vision was not realised. Even if in 1871 his dream became partly true, his vision of a German Nation was much bigger - and that is clearly expressed in the first stanza of the Deutschlandlied and the desired borders of "Germany". He was the classical nationalistic poet, that is why politics is quite important in this article. -- Rfortner (talk) 23:40, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The geography section of the article is absurd because it does not make clear the only relevant point about the geography described in the song - all the borders are outside Germany!!! The Memel is in Lithuania, the Adige (Etze) is in Italy, the Maas is in Belgium and Netherlands, and the Belt is in Denmark. The maps and explanations in this section cleverly hide these simple facts rather than making them clear. It would be very poetic if the French had an anthem that claimed France from the Urals to Bruges I am sure. To me this discussion is truly fantastic. This song appears on the Internet in perhaps dozens of popular videos with pictures of Hitler, Swastikas, Hitlerjugend and yet people are making believe the whole issue is all about poetry. The origins of the song are one thing, but its history and current use cannot be ignored. It is still the national song of Germany, and the first stanza is quite legal (if not protected). How is it possible to ignore all the swastikas and filth that are presented with the song and to make believe there is no issue regarding the borders and no problem with the song? [[Mewnews (talk) 12:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)]]

Well, the thing is, the whole thing is about poetry. The borders H. v. F. mentioned were, with some poetic inaccurateness maybe, quite exactly the borders of the place where Germans lived at his time. H. v. F. even left out any discursive claims, as (in that time) the question of Alsace, or of Bohemia. Though we may be glad that the "not a nation, but a religion"-Austria, as said Joseph Roth, survived the process of German unification. You won't deny that? What some neonazis, whose Internet importance outgoes by far their real importance, make of it, is worth mentioning, but is not at all worth to be common interpretation. -- (talk) 20:29, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

"Großdeutsches Reich" did not include the Etsch/Adige River and Little Belt[edit]

"...the only German state since Hoffman's writing of the song to include all the territory that he mentioned was the Nazi "Großdeutsches Reich" (Greater German Empire)..."

That is not true. The Etsch/Adige river did never run through the "Großdeutsches Reich", as South Tyrol stayed with Italy since World War I. The Little Belt remained part of Denmark - the border of 1920 remained untouched even after German occupation of Denmark. The four mentioned borders have never been part of any German state or federation at the same time. (talk) 09:35, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Sentence removed. -- (talk) 17:13, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Hoffmann wrote the song in 1841, and in 1848, during the German revolution, also the Eastern part of Prussia joined the German Confederation. Thus, Hoffmann successfully predicted (and witnessed during his life time) a Germany united within his borders and under the democratic Black-Red-Gold flag. It did not last long, as neither Prussian nor Austrian royalty gave in, and even waged war against each other in in 1866. By late 1941, the Wehrmacht had occupied areas reaching far beyond each of Hoffmanns borders. When Italy switched sides in 1943, Germans took control of northern Italy, and the Italian Social Republic was erected as a German ally (and puppet). South Tyrol was administered by Germans/Austrians from the Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg as Prealpine Operations Zone. It was not officially incorporated into the Reich, probably not to offend the remaining allies with a symbolic act. -- Matthead  Discuß   15:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Deutschlandlied in Nazi Germany[edit]

This passage says the Deutschlandlied in the Nazi time consisted of the original first stanza followed by the whole Horst-Wessel-Lied. That needs to be corrected. The Deutschlandlied itself did not change between 1933 and 1945. Only the use as a national anthem did change. The national anthem then was the first stanza of the Deutschlandlied followed by the first stanza of the Horst-Wessel-Lied (not all of it!). -- (talk) 15:38, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

We should distinguish Hoffmann's Deutschlandlied from its later (partial) use as German national anthem, as does German Wikipedia with the separate articles de:Deutschlandlied and de:Deutsche Nationalhymne. -- Matthead  Discuß   11:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

It also curiously sais that the fourth line was changed, which I can't see... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know why it did, but the English certainly was different ("brotherly sticks together", I think) – it's all cleared up now. Innotata 22:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Innotata (talkcontribs)

Translation in footnote 6[edit]

... "'nach Bund Deutscher Mädel und Mutterkreuz klang auch Strophe Nummer zwei ziemlich schwülstig' ('according to the League of German Girls and the Cross of Honor of the German Mother, stanza two also sounds quite pompous')"; (footnote 6)

Due to the ambiguous nature of the preposition "nach", the translation of this quote slightly misses the original meaning. The context of the SPIEGEL article makes it sufficiently clear that "nach" has a merely temporal meaning here; I would therefore suggest: "After there have been such things as the (National-Socialist) League of German Girls and the (equally Nazi) Cross of the German Mother, stanza two also sounds quite bombastic." I am quite sure that no NS organization would have had any problem with "Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue" ...

Best, Stoeberer-- (talk) 10:44, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Done. By the way, I am quite sure that no democrat would either, if not because of an opinion that is one amongst others. I have more problems with "sollen in der Welt behalten ihren guten alten Klang" ("shall keep in the world the good sound of their names"), as because of the Nazis (most of all, plus maybe some imperialist attitude of the German Empire), their names do just not have a good sound. So it might be better in private use to sing something like "sollen bald/heut/... zurückerhalten" ("shall soon/today/..." (one-syllable German word) "get back".) -- (talk) 20:41, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

River names[edit]

The way in which the rivers' (and Little Belt's) names are translated are inconsistent. The rule now is: if it's not German call it by its German name, but if it's part German call it by a foreign name. Memel and Belt, completely obsolete German names are given instead of Neman & Lillebælt or other something else. Meuse, one out of several names, is given for what is also known as the Maas in Dutch as well as German. And Adige is given for a river which remains nearly as German (ethnically) as Italian. (Though the people in the area could scarcely be called Italians being Venetian, Ladin, etc.) What should be done with the translation? Innotata 22:46, 25 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Innotata (talkcontribs)

Removal of lyrics[edit]

I believe the lyrics should be removed per standard policy; they should be on Wikisource. Stifle (talk) 09:13, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

It's a national anthem, it isn't long people shouldn't have to search for the lyrics. Compare with The Star-Spangled Banner, La Marseillaise, etc. innotata (Talk | Contribs) 22:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

The Flag[edit]

Hi. Best wishes from germany. First: The Colours of the Falg of the "Kaiserreich" haven been black, white an red, in this direction (black and white were the colours of Prussia, red had t symbolize the reunification of Germany 1871). The Colours of the german demo cracy was black, red and yellow, in this direction. in fact, it was (and is!) black, red and gold, but of course gold = yellow, when you print flags, because of the costs. The anti-democratic right movement in the weimar republic denunciated black, red and gold as "black, red and mustard" (schwarz-rot-senf). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Removal of bogus mp3 link[edit]

I just found that the supposed link to the mp3 file of the Deutschlandlied goes to a commercial site with no music playing. The file "deutschlandlied.mp3" that can be downloaded has a size of 16 kb. So it is a safe bet that someone wants to promote the website. Link should be removed/replaced... (talk) 19:38, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

All links in the external links do have recordings where they are noted. I don't see anything to remove, though perhaps the external links could be trimmed. —innotata (TalkContribs) 22:42, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I've just trimmed the links. Everything seems in order. —innotata (TalkContribs) 22:47, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

translation of "blühen"[edit]

Blühen can be translated as "to blossom/to bloom", but only for flowers. The modern english language often uses a word of germanic (via Anglo-Saxon roots) origin for one meaning and the same of french origin (via Norman) for another meaning (think Kalb/calf and Veau/veal) When a cluture, peoples or civiliaztion shuld "blühe", then the correct word is flourish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know about German, but I think the article used to read "flourish". —innotata 15:01, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm german, and I think "prosper" would be a better translation. -- (talk) 11:37, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Modern criticism???[edit]

this section is a bit odd. These 'critics' critisice the first and second stanza, yet the National anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany has been/is the Third stanza, so the modern critisism of the German anthem is a critism of the old anthem not the new (is 50 years still new) one. And Nietzsche has been dead for a while as well. So that 'modern' critisism is neither that modern nor about the current anthem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Your confusion stems in part from your mistake of interpreting the word modern as if it meant new. (talk) 14:19, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, but it still makes no sense. If the term "modern" just refers to Modernity, it is redundant, since the whole song, of course, isn't older than modernity. So any critisism of the song would have to be, of course, modern. However, being placed almost at the end of the article, the section indeed suggests it refers to "new" or "current" critisism. Therefore, as a first solution, I'll simply remove the word "modern" from the head of the section. D'accord?--JakobvS (talk) 11:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)


What about the claim that Haydn just borrowed an old Slavic folk song melody? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Noel Coward claimed that the melody can be traced back to an old English street-song "Won't you buy my pretty flowers?" He adapted it for his patriotic wartime song 'London Pride'. Valetude (talk) 11:30, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Maas & Memel, Etsch & belt[edit]

I propose to change this map with this map. It makes it more clear, why it was very appropriate to sing in the early 19th century, Germany, from the Mass to the Memel, from the Etsch to the Belt. The other map gives the message that Germany allways wanted ocupite foreign territories.Flk-Brdrf (talk) 15:23, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree the proposed map is more useful to understanding the article topic. I have a couple of minor reservations, though; do you have the tools to make modifications to the existing image, or do we need to use it "as is"? It would be nice if the legend at the bottom right could be redone in English (no need to change river, state, or country names on the map proper, IMO). And for some reason the "reduced size" image as shown on the WikiCommons page renders strangely; on two different PCs, with different screen resolutions, and using two different browsers, the area around the Etsch is squeezed so the river and the German Confederation border overlay the river's name, making it almost indiscernible. (Playing around here a bit before saving, I find that, in at least one case, including the image with an upright=1.3 parameter resolves that issue and makes all the text fairly legible. I don't know enough about .svg files to understand why.) Fat&Happy (talk) 18:11, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I definitely agree that the map should show where German-speakers lived in the 1800s, rather than post-1945. But aesthetically, I don't like the proposed map: It has too many distracting details. Maybe show the simpler 1871-1914 (or 2013) borders, and take off the rivers that aren't mentioned in the song. DanBishop (talk) 06:54, 22 July 2013 (UTC)


"The song of the Germans" and "Song of the Germans" should redirect here.JohnnyR997 (talk) 21:36, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

 Doneinnotata 22:28, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


Which variety of English applies to this article? Seeing that someone had changed "defence" to "defense", I looked and found that the article was a mixture of British (non-OUP) English and American English. I did a couple of spot checks to see where there were at least three words in one particular version and found, for instance, "colours", "formalised", and "criticised" as far back as 5 October 2006. Since the article also uses DMY and is so categorized, I assumed that it would be justified and advisable to standardize everything as non-OUP British English (though I personally prefer OUP English for reasons of commonality). This has now, apparently been changed to American English (at least now uniform, I think) but I haven't been following this article or its talk page, so I wondered if I missed something or happened to get a bad sample when looking for the established variety of English. Arguments for British non-OUP English :

  • British (non-OUP) English seems, at first glance, to have been established before later getting mixed with American English.
  • The article uses non-American date format, so American spelling would be inconsistent with the date format.
  • If in doubt, this is a European topic, which (weakly) suggests using European spelling.

Whatever is in fact the established spelling, it seems a good idea to me to avoid American spelling with non-American date format, even if that means havng a discussion to reach a new explicit consensus one way or the other. --Boson (talk) 21:41, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

For "current" (i.e., just before the recent changes) usage, I just rechecked and found my original tally was in error (I had first thought there were more AmE usages than BrE); it seems that there were actually – if we managed to locate all the "differences" – five occurrences of each variety. However, unless I missed something, the oldest extant version of the article, from 2001, seems to have one AmE spelling (defense) and none uniquely BrE, making AmE the original variation used. I'm not sure the date format is relevant here, but the first use of full dates I find is on 30 April 2004 (by which point one occurrence of "formalized" had also sneaked in). They were entered in mdy style, but I think that back then the display format of linked dates was determined by user preferences, so the style of entry might not be meaningful. Fat&Happy (talk) 22:43, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I suppose it might be argued that British English had become established at the time WP:RETAIN was worded to contain "become established", meaning that the original version (which contained one American word) could be ignored, but I am happy with leaving this article in its present form (though it might make an interesting case for a "moot court").
Irrespective of this article, I think the issue of date format and spelling is interesting as a general point, possibly made slightly more complicated by the issue of the old date preferences and autoformatting and the use of the {{Dmy}} template. WP:MOS has

"These varieties (e.g. American English vs. British English) differ in vocabulary (soccer vs. football), spelling (center vs. centre), date formatting ("April 13" vs. "13 April") and occasionally grammar . . . "


"within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently"

which I would interpret as meaning that once you have chosen the variety of English you have to use the conventions of that variety consistently, including the appropriate date format and spelling. I may suggest clarifying that at WT:MOS. --Boson (talk) 22:14, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I tried that logic of tying Engvar and date format a few years ago in the Barack Obama, Sr. article and got soundly trounced, though I'm still not convinced the argument for using AmE there is valid. But in general, I tend toward a rogue interpretation of WP:STRONGNAT, ignoring the qualifier "English-speaking". I don't see that articles about Cuba, Haiti, or Venezuela should use U.S. English and those about France, Italy, and Germany should use British English; I do think, though, that articles about those countries should use the date format used in the country itself. Fortunately, I haven't run into very many articles where the usages are in conflict – likely due in large part to individual editing patterns. Fat&Happy (talk) 23:32, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with your interpretation as regards date format. I suppose one should discuss the wording at WP:ENGVAR etc. but, on reflection, I think I'll let that sleeping dog lie for the moment. --Boson (talk) 16:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Freedom? Liberty![edit]

The song says Freiheit, which refers the state principle, not something for the individual(s), but for the whole people, which is directly implied in the lyrics ("Freiheit for the German fatherland"), so the correct translation would be "liberty" (cf. Roman libertas, which was also a state principle), not the generic term "freedom". Unless there is an official and still valid translation published by the German government that uses "freedom" instead of "liberty", I would suggest that the instances in the article should be changed accordingly. In the US you say "liberty and justice for all", not "freedom and justice for all", right? So why should it be "freedom" in this case? There is more than just an etymological difference between the two terms, and as a German I would like to see Wikipedia not denigrate the anthem by translating Freiheit as "freedom", unless the German government itself has chosen to denigrate the German people. ;) — (talk) 23:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

  • I can't imagine what you find "denigrating" about either translation.
  • The nearest I could find to an "official" translation, was the Bundesbank's translation of the text on German coins (which used "freedom").
  • I'm not sure what you mean about "Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland" favouring "liberty" over "freedom". I would normally think of words like liberty as a principle applying to people, rather than a country (liberty, equality, fraternity) . I think I would tend to talk of freedom (from British rule) for America or India, say.
  • How to translate "Freiheit" in the context of a patriotic song of this nature is, of course, a difficult judgement, and special translation criteria apply.
  • One consideration might be to use words that are more similar to the original, to make it easier for those who do not speak fluent German to compare the translation with the original.
  • Another consideration might be to retain the cultural flavour of the original. That probably means using "fatherland" rather than "mother country", though that might be a more natural English translation. Compare the "song of the English":

I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons."

This consideration might also suggest using the more Germanic word "freedom" rather than "liberty". --Boson (talk) 01:30, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Context, context, context! 'Freedom' always needs a preposition (e.g. from or to). 'Freiheit' on its own is therefore to be translated as 'liberty'. In those cases where there is a preposition (e.g. Freiheit FÜR das deutsche Vaterland) 'freedom' to or from is the correct translation. (talk) 12:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Could you elucidate? Where did you get this from? It sounds like a somewhat garbled rule of thumb -- perhaps related to the different types of freedom characterized by use of the prepositions "of" (e.g. freedom of speech) and "from" (e.g. freedom from fear). Or are we supposed to use "liberty" in statements like the following?
  • "Freedom is not enough."
  • "The constant problem of freedom is the problem of its limits."
  • "Freedom is said to possess constitutive value if it constitutes some intrinsically valuable thing."
  • "Freedom is an irreducibly plural concept."
  • "Freedom is always possible, but it necessarily involves conflict and nonconformity."
--Boson (talk) 14:43, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • "They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom."
  • "they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom."
-- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:54, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Speculation about references[edit]

These may well be "possibilities", and the fact that they are possibilities may well appear in reliable sources, but these "possibilities" are nevertheless speculation, and appear to go beyond the scope of the article. ----Ehrenkater (talk) 17:43, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

If that is what is to be of this article, then that is fine but then it needs to be consistent. As only my added ' possibilities' have references, the ' original explanation' of the anthems geography have none and are by that reasoning as speculative (or even more so) as the newly added information and would need to be removed as well? Do you disagree on that? Comitus (talk) 13:32, 27 August 2014 (UTC)