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Can "Fuehrer" be feminine? Can a female Chancellor be known as die Fuehrer?

In standard german, the genus is a property of the word, and it does not depend on the gender of the person described by the word. (iirc Mark Twain complained about the use of "der Kopf" even for a female head.) Therefore "die Führer" is incorrect grammar. However, there is the word "die Führerin". – Hokanomono 10:22, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The second question: No, chancellors are not regarded as leaders. If however there might be a female american president some day, and if she will chose to regard herself as a leader, the correct translation to german will be "Führerin". (compare below: "leaders of the USA") – Hokanomono 10:27, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

If there would be a German female Führer, a word derived from a verb + the male ending -er, making its grammatical gender masculine (also use unisex, not specifically feminine), there would have to be a feamel ending, propably Führerin. However in other languages, one may use the original German word as unaltered barbarism, no longer obeying to Geman grammar, al would propably be done in say French (they change everything obsessively), not so easily in say Dutch.


Isn't Führer also the German word for driver, or chauffeur? RickK 01:43 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

There is the term "Fahrzeugführer" which means "driver of the vehicle", but it's a bureaucratic term and it's not used in common language.

Quite possibly - a driving licence is a Führerschein. -- Arwel 09:48 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Führer means "driver" only in some composites, like "Lokführer" as told on the article page. The generic literal translation for "driver" would be "Fahrer". -- Locutus 15:12 01 Oct 2004 (UTC+2)

In principle yes, but if the police is called to an accident the report will probably read: "der Führer des Kraftfahrzeugs..." -> the driver of the powered vehicle...

Note the DHS slogun for the new REAL ID: "One Driver, One License" which could translate: "Ein Führer, Ein Führerschein"! Oivae (talk) 09:14, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

"Führer" is a word with several other meanings: captain, guide, headman, leader, pathfinder

One of the most funny things I ever heard, was when Hillary Clinton visited Germany and spoke about the leaders of the USA: The interpreter translated it as Führer Bush...

Well this should have you ROTF: ClearChannel's "George W. Bush: Our Leader" billboards. (Meself, I'm giving up insulting Hitler by comparing him to Dubya.)
As an aside, this dates the first application of "Führer" to Hitler as 1921 July 29, although of course that was merely as party leader. 21:36, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
@ Oivae: "One Driver, One License" would translate as "Ein Fahrer, Ein Führerschein"!--Dvd-junkie (talk) 09:22, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Translation of "Reich"[edit]

The German word 'Reich' isn't exactly the same as 'empire' (and Hitler wasn't an Emperor) fact, the German Empire ended during WW I. But I dont know any better tranlations of the word, only wanted to say it here.

No, Reich is Empire. The myth of a Third Reich was central to Nazi ideology, as well as the legal form under which the german state operated during these 12 years.
No, just look at the german word for france: FrankREICH. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Neither does an empire require an emperor- the problem arises from the Latin roots: imperium is an abstract legal term, for a territory (already in use before Caesar, so republican by any definition), and so empire can be said of anon-monarchy, e.g. the Venetian empire, or even a commercial empire; Imperator never was the legal term for the Roman Head of state, who always remained Princeps civitatis (first among the citizenship; theoretically he republican chief magistracy, the collegal consuls, remained Head of state) but a military mandate-holder, regardlss of his 'civilan' position in the state, but reamained most prominent among various additional titles. I the Christian successor states, various new meanings developed, but none could become exclusive.
Reich is not exactly equivalent to Empire. The literal translation is "Realm", a word not used much in modern English, but which Shakespeare used. A recent TV Series "In the Animal Realm" ended up in German as "Im Reich des Tieres". Empire is "Kaiserreich" (Emperor's Realm) and Kingdom is "Königreich" (King's Realm).
There is an equivalent Dutch word "Rijk", and the Dutch had until 1994 a national police force called "Rijkspolitie" without it having any imperial overtones. TiffaF 18:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

The word "realm" essentially means "kingdom" and derives from Latin "rex" or "regis" which mean "king". Does anyone here know the etymology of "reich"? Is it from that same Latin root, or elsewhere? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 10:22, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Reich#Etymology and cognates HalfShadow 16:33, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Outstanding. It all ultimately comes from "raja". Which also means that "Königreich" actually means "king kingdom". I'll ponder that today on my way to the automatic teller machine machine. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:51, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
It was in the one place nobody thought to look, too. Now that's comedy. HalfShadow 17:00, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Please. Allow me to retain at least one shred of dignity. :'( Speaking of comedy, Todd thinks we're the same editor, ignoring the fact that great minds often think alike. But if we're the same editor, that certainly explains why I asked a dumb/lazy question and you answered it in a way that showed me up. :) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:21, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
No. Not Latin. The Latin and the German share the Proto-Indo-European root "h₃rḗǵs", but developed completely independently.2601:806:4301:C100:C05A:5055:93CA:4DBE (talk) 04:02, 7 April 2017 (UTC)


I don't want to get into an edit/revert war, but Fastifex, can you please explain why Netaji and the Flemish Nazis deserve editorials in this article, and how your paragraph about "colloborators" [sic] is both NPOV and relevant? Surely such observations, if they belong anywhere, belong in the articles on VNV, De Clercq, etc, rather than in an article about the word Führer? I think the "Equivalent Historic titles" section should basically be a list, with as little additional information as possible to keep it uncluttered. If people want to learn more, they can follow the links. FiggyBee 16:31, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • This section is not about the word, but the concept Führer- if you know a better title for it, I eagerly await your suggestions and may move it there;

Meanwhile, I see I was not the only one who wanted these data kept in, and no, you can't seriously expect someone interested in this aspect to read trough all the biographical articles (which could become very cumbersome if they reach the seize they probably deserve, but World War II- characters are not part of my normal Wiki-activity). While for leaders in power their titles suffice to sketch their position, for the others the point of interest is precisely how different their realities are, so leaving that un-mentioned would defeat the very purpose. As for the term "colloborator", that is not open for points of view: at the time of occupation which concerns us here, it is a simple choice each is forced to make: either to follow the new legislation of the occupying power, or to consider it illegal as the governments in exile claim- only after the war it becomes a matter for the courts to determine, according the the legislation that is then (re)imposed by the victor, as always; it is well established in the impressive libraries (literally!) written on the war and its aftermath, and does not carry a judgement whether that choice was right or wrong, or even thought trough at all.

Just did a little cleaning up of the writing in this selfsame section; there was an incredibly long run-on sentence which (I hope) is now a little clearer to readers. Drkeithphd 19:54, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


OK, correction to all the things above by a native speaker of German:

The female form of Führer is Führerin. (Führer + femalizing Suffix -in)

The female form of "Frankfurter" (a man from Frankfurt) is "Frankfurterin" and has nothing to do with a chancellor. The word for chancellor is "Kanzler or Kanzlerin" (both used).

The words Frankfurine, Frankfurzeugführer do not exist in German. A driver of a vehicle is a "Fahrer/Fahrerin" or the "Fahrzeugführer/Fahrzeugführerin". The driving license is a "Führerschein".

To explain the above comment which no longer makes sense, on 7 December 2005 anonymous editor edited various peoples' comments (including mine) to include the above nonsense words. Had I noticed this behaviour at the time, I would have handed down a lengthy editing block for disruptive editing, but it's too long ago now. I have reversed the edits made by this user. -- Arwel (talk) 19:23, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

A more exact translation of "Reich" would be "realm" to point out the difference between the German empire before 1918 (headed by an emperor) and the "Deutsche Reich" after 1918, which was a republic.

The substitution of "Führer" with "Anführer" as mentioned in the article is not really correct. "Anführer" puts the emphasis on commanding, whereas "Führer" is usually used when the emphasis lies more on the guide, scout aspect. Therefore it is possible for a group of people to have an "Anführer" and several "Führer" at the same time.

In my humble opinion the translation of "Führer" to "leader" isn't really correct. More appropiate would be more like "supreme leader" because leader can be many while in the German language the term "Führer" implies that someone called that way is not just a leader but the leader above all other leaders.

--Lucius1976 20:01, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

  • No, as many short, ancient words, Führer has many uses, you can't pin it down to only one, so generalisations are pointless. Si~milar semantic complexity can be observed in other languages, e.g. Latin Dux, Dutch Aanvoerder (both starting from a verb meaning 'to lead') Fastifex 11:10, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Use in German[edit]

In case there are any reservations about my recent change, here is an excerpt from the German wiki article about the word:

Obwohl es in vielen unterschiedlichen Bereichen verwendet wird, ist das Wort Führer negativ belastet.

Translation: Although it is used in many context, the word Führer carries negative connotations. Bobby1011 15:02, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

In my experience, that has been the case only when applied to Hitler. When it is used in a more general sense, as in a tour guide, I am not aware of there having been any negativity. 14:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

...tfk: I'm from Germany, and i can definitly say that if s.o. here uses "Führer", it almost always reminds the others of Hitler, so unless that is the intention, the word is not used here. There are however the compound words like "Führerschein, Fahrzeugführer (This is only used in formal language, standard is "Fahrer" ("driver"). I had to delete some entries in the list (Flugzeugführer f.e.) - The word may be grammatically right, but we use the the term "pilot" just like you do. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I am also from germany. No one would say "Hast Du den Kunstführer gesehen?" - they would always say "Hast Du den Führer gesehen?". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

All origional research, but I was at a football match once, for a team I was unfamiliar with, and asked "wer ist der Führer?" meaning captain. I got some very strange looks. I think it's different used alone or as part of a compund word: I could have said Manschaftsführer without such bad connotations although maybe Kapitän would be even better. Thehalfone (talk) 10:55, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, but that is because "Spielführer" is a very bureaucratic way of referring to the team captain anyway. Since the common informal way is "Mannschaftskapitän", they would have understood Kapitän without problems. But if you would ask about a "Führer" in a museum or a tourist office, they wouldn't give you any strange looks at all... (talk) 12:39, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Audio file[edit]

Since the word Führer comes from the German language, is the audio file supposed to be in German? (Since currently it is not.) There is problem with the pronunciation of the word "Führer". The speaker pronounce it like "Tührer" this word doesn't exist in german.

"Unterführer" in today's army ? - disputed[edit]

I deleted the sentence "In today's federal army, the composite word "Unterführer" is still an official term for a non-commissioned officer." - As far as I still remember my own experience in the German army well enough, there is no use of any word with "Führer" apart from Führerschein. :-) MikeZ 06:54, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe the author of this sentence meant "Unteroffizier". *g* M9IN0G 21:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
No, the term Unterführer is quite common, in the field we often heard the command "Unterführer zu mir" from the captain when he wanted to see all men from Uffz to OLt. BTW: Führer is used in more terms as Truppführer, Gruppenführer, Kompanietruppführer, Zugführer, Führungsoffizier. An UFhr is not a NCO but any soldier from Uffz up to the rank below the one speaking of UFhr. If a KpChef wants to see his UFhr he is calling all men from Uffz to OLt or even Hptm. If a BtlKdr wants to see all UFhr, he calls for all KpChefs. The term is also used in other organisations such as THW, Fire Dept, KatSchutz and so on. There is also a German articleührer_(Katastrophenschutz) and even an official book called "Rückgrat des Heers. Handbuch für Unterführer." von Rainer Oestmann. However, it makes no sense to speak of UFhr in the Article if TrpFhr, GrpFhr ZgFhr and so on are ignored.

Castro ?[edit]

Maximo Lider is an official title, so is Comandante. You can see it in cuban official press and goverments documents. [anonymous posting]

  • Comandante stands for Commander in chief, a military attribute of nearly any head of state (regardless whether the incumbent holds any military rank), so definitely wrong
  • the official press is propaganda: tripe
  • government documents? please produce some links, it depends what they say and where
  • Wikipedia has only an entry El lider maximo, which suggests there isn't even a standard word order, as any real official title has

Fastifex 13:37, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

what about?

Capitanul 'The Captain' Corneliu Zelea Codreanu of the "Iron Guard" in Romania.

If Comandante even should be included, why isn't it in the Later Parallels section? Castro didn't take over in Cuba until 1959, 14 years after Hitler was dead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

re: Castro, comandante = commander (there are many, about the same as major), Comandante en Jefe = Commander in Chief = Castro. coma-andante = walking coma, a common (joke) variation, subject to penalty! Máximo Líder is correct form, the reverse is wrong (although normally Spanish has subject/adjective (i.e., perro grande) here it's reversed). Source: Common knowledge. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ardipithecus (talkcontribs) 21:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Use of Fuehrer instead of Führer[edit]

Since Führer is a German word, why has it been transliterated in some cases? It's not that hard to just insert the umlaut u (ü) and spell the word properly. Unless anyone has a real problem with this or has a good reason why both words should be used, I will be correcting everything in the article to use the standard German spelling of Führer in the near future Shaw, Stephen 22:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

English keyboards and the English language does not use umlauts(alt 0225 for ü and 0220 for Ü), the correct transliteration is fuehrer, but its also been spelled fuhrer (maybe incorrect). This is not a personal name of an individual so I think the spelling can be different in English. But feel free to change the spelling of the fuehrer to Führer but the spelling is considered correct nonetheless, so the info should remain for disambiguation purposes.Bleh999 23:38, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Fuhrer would be inccorect. (opps...not logged in...sorry.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Latter parallels[edit]

The article states that Michael Schumacher had been affectionately called 'Führer'. I've heard many nicknames for him but never this. Even the Wikipedia article on him does not mention this. Could you please supply a reference source?--Shishigashira 19:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Why is "Fuhrer" never correct? I see plenty of words that don't have "proper" diacritic marks and yet don't lose their meaning. Does "Fuhrer" have a different meaning without the umlaut? --Janus Shadowsong | contribs 17:01, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

If you want to avoid umlauts, you have to insert an 'e': ü -> ue, ä -> ae, ö -> oe. This is standard and is even in the German language considered grammatically correct. So if s.o. wants to avoid the "ü" in Führer, he has to insert an e after the u, or he would alter the word. (But no, it has no meaning in German, but whats the sense in adapting a word that has no meaning)?


Since the word "vozhd" is mentioned here, why isn't Stalin mentioned?

Vozhd (Russian for "Leader") - referred to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Is vozhd really associated with fuehrer? This word was used much before Hitler came to power and was applied to Lenin for example ("leader of proletarian revolution"). It is not an official title, just a generic word for leader. Is there any need to place the word here as a sub-type of fuehrer title?--Dojarca 12:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The term is explicietly treated in the section on parallel terms, for which it is a textbok cazndidate, being a literal translation with contemporary other uses, as in Nazi Germany the word had both remaining previous meanings and even specific new ones (such as compound military ranks), while the absolute use (with the definite article) clearly referred only to the totalitarian single party- leader Arcarius 06:14, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Which "specific new ones"? What was new in calling Stalin "vozhd" compared to Lenin?--Dojarca 06:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Can anybody answer here?--Dojarca 10:18, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Pt-2735-75dpi.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 22:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Hitler and Mussolini[edit]

Removed this statement as historically inaccurate:

[Mussolini's Fascist Party] which impressed Hitler until it proved militarily inferior...

In point of fact, Hitler never lost his admiration for, and friendship with, Mussolini; even referring to him as "a descendant of the Caesars."

Hitler's contempt was reserved for the Italian upper classes, officer corps and royal family. After Italy's defection from the Axis, the Germans treated Italian officers almost as brutally as they did the Russians. Common Italian soldiers (more than 1M) were used as slave labor for the Reich.

After the latter's deposition (by the Fascist Council and the King and his replacement as Prime Minister by Marshal Badoglio) in 1943, Hitler had Skorzeny engineer a daring rescue of the Duce from his confinement in the Gran Sasso. Hitler then installed Mussolini as ruler of a puppet Italian state (the "Italian Social Republic") in Northern Italy which was still controlled by the Germans.

All this is noted in Keegan's The Second World War pages 343-51.

PainMan (talk) 09:45, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of "Satirical use" section[edit]

I removed the following section:

Satirical use
During the Apollo era (1967-1975), Guenther F. Wendt, the German-American engineer in charge of the launch pad "close out" crew, was nicknamed by the Kennedy Space Center personnel "Führer of the Pad."

This is too trivial, in my view, for inclusion in this article. It includes only one example of its use in a non-political context. Perhaps if other uses were included such as section would be appropriate. But I don't think so. Wikipedia articles (analogously to modern software development) have such a tendency to bloat, that one way to fight it is the exclusion such items as this: something one could easily find under the Trivia section of Say for the movie Apollo 13 [2].

Finally, I hardly think this usage qualifies as "satirical." I doubt Mr. Wendt found it amusing, whatever the users intent. It's also hard to believe it was used to Mr. Wendt's face. (After all, most of us have referred to overbearing bosses as "Nazis" or "Fuhrers"; when I wished to stay employed, I didn't say it to the person's face!)

PainMan (talk) 10:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Time for a disambig page[edit]

(Moved from above)

I have a number of German guide books from the early 20th century, "führer" is simply the word for "guide", for example, "Führer durch Riga" is "Riga Guide Book." PetersV       TALK 16:03, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Upon reading through it a couple of times, this article is a mess. The whole section "Equivalent historic titles" is the saddest mishmosh of WP:OR I've seen on WP in a while.
   I recommend this be reduced to a disambig page which includes the actual historical use of the word in German. No one has adopted "Führer" in the English lexicon as meaning "leader", like, "boy, Mike is a real Führer when it comes to keeping cubicles clean", no, we use "nazi" or "Gestapo" in English. PetersV       TALK 16:09, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Adoption of the title by Herr Hitler[edit]

"the process of Gleichschaltung, following the death of the last Reichspräsident of the Weimar Republic (Germany after the Hohenzollern empire), Paul von Hindenburg, on March 23, 1933. Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934. March 23, 1933, date is for passage of Enabling Act. So this is unclear. Hitler becomes President and Führer/Chancellor on Hindenburg's death": according to this the Enabling Act is 16 months earlier than Hindenburg's death, some clarification is necessary about what happened in Aug 1934.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 17:59, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

The word "Führer", despite its totalitarian use, has its etymological roots in leading the Nazi party, thus there is no date when Hitler became Fuehrer, unless we take the date he became chairman. Even under Hindenburg, Hitler styled himself Führer and Chancellor; what he did in 1934 was to introduce this style into state officiality, as the title under which (and that included the "and Chancellor") he chose to act as president, not wanting the title of "president" itself. However, with Chancellor being Head of Government, the "Führer" of the "Führer and Chancellor" was somewhat specifically associated with the headofstateship. The Enabling Act has nothing to do with the title. Formally, it gave to Hitler's government the right to pass laws, and Hitler himself, under the title of Chancellor, the right to ratify them.-- (talk) 12:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)


The sidebar lists Hitler's successor as "office abolished," and yet right below that says Karl Doenitz was the "last officeholder." They can't both be true. (And if it were, why not have a picture of Doenitz and list his "prececessor" and "successor," as the case may be?)

I know it's debatable whether Doenitz was actually Feuhrer, but we should be internally consistent. (talk) 03:43, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Dönitz's title was Reichspräsident. Now that is debatable whether he occupied this position formally - he had the Last Will of a dead dictator, but not an election which the Weimar Constitution, still in force as to this point, would have prescribed. But then again even without the dictatorial status of the Nazi regime, it would abstractely make sense if the Head of State named an (acting) heir given the wartime situation which made the election, at least in May 1945, impossible in reality. Be that as it may, he was not called Führer, he did not take the title of Führer, but Reichspräsident and, as a military officer, Grand Admiral. -- (talk) 00:57, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

"Führer" w/ negative connotations?[edit]

The word Führer in the sense of guide remains common in German, but because of its strong association with Nazi Germany, it comes with some stigma and negative connotations when used as the meaning of leader.

That's not true, "Führer" is a quite common word in Germany. In fact for me as a German the only situation i can remember when "Führer" sounded wrong was in the Berlin Jewish Museum. They use the English word "guide" instead there. If you want to make clear you mean "Führer" in the meaning of Hitler, you pronounce it "the Hitler way", like "feeehrrrer". Really, "Führer" is just a normal German word. -- (talk) 22:52, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Leaders of the Free World[edit]

Also, the U. S. President is styled Führer der freien Welt[1], if the epithet is not left untranslated.
  1. ^ [1]

I removed this sentence. I've never heard this term as epithet to the US president in german-originating context. The cited article at Der Spiegel on its part only quotes a New York Times' article. I can't imagine this will be used, except in a clearly satirical or at least humorous context. (As in the cited article about Obama's new dog, which is entitled "First Puppy" by its author.)

As I know the similar named Elbow album since a couple of years I'm almost sure that any untranslated epithet would have attracted my attention. -- Pemu (talk) 00:53, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Not disputing Pemu's point above, but POTUS should still be included in the list "Parallel titles" as it is currently formulated - 'Commander-in-Chief', 'Hail to the Chief' - and 'Leader of the Free World' (in English). Or are we supposed to understand that this is a list only of people "we" don't like...? Personally I would prefer to reduce that list to only other folks using cognates of the actual word fuehrer (eg Quisling) as practically every jurisdiction has a synonym for chief - it's not clear what such a section adds ('Other leaders known as, well, "Leader"'). The downside is it risks looking like political commentary when there appears to be an additional and silent selection principle at work, as here. Deoxyribonucleic acid trip (talk) 03:24, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Parallel titles[edit]

This section needs to be cleaned up significantly. It ostensibly started out as a list of the various petty fascist politicians who modelled their own title style on the German title used by Adolf Hitler. Since then however, it has shifted to just listing any politician who used some equivalent of "leader" to denote themselves, with widely varying ideologies and origins.

Right now it's mostly OR research on a very vague topic. I'm not quite sure whether it as a subject is worthy of being covered by Wikipedia, but if it is, then it needs to be moved to a seperate page, like Supreme leader or similar. In any case, references also need to be provided.--Morgan Hauser (talk) 10:06, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I've moved this section to Supreme leader to await further categorization.--Morgan Hauser (talk) 05:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't the article be renamed "Führer und Reichskanzler". Hitler's official title was "Führer und Reichskanzler", "Führer" was just a phrase, short for "Führer und Reichskanzler". Jonas Vinther (talk) 23:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


[3] Calling two scholalry sources "One" and "fairly obscure" is rather funny, as well calling a correction in a section a "drastic change". In so far I ask to restore the changes, if you have a problem with formatting, don't refer to a failed concept (BRD) but do some smaller improvements. Serten II (talk) 20:38, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

If you revert, but do not discusss or use the talk page at all, youre misusing BRD. I will restore the changes then. Serten II (talk) 09:46, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

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