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Deutschlandlied


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MJB

MJB

    Delicate Snowflake

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Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach lasst uns alle streben
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
|: Stoßet an und ruft einstimmig,
Hoch, das deutsche Vaterland.

For your information, Das Lied der Deutschen was not played at an official ceremony until Germany and Britain had agreed on the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty in 1890, when it appeared only appropriate to sing it at the ceremony on the now officially German island of Helgoland.

The song became very popular after the 1914 Battle of Langemarck during World War I, when several German regiments, consisting mostly of students no older than 16, attacked the British lines singing this song, suffering heavy casualties. They are buried in the Langemark German war cemetery. The official report of the army embellished the event as one of young German soldiers heroically sacrificing their lives for the fatherland. In reality the untrained troops were sent out to attack the British trenches side by side and were mowed down by machine guns. This report, also known as the "Langemarck Myth", was printed on the first page in newspapers all over Germany.

In 1921, a stanza was written that reflected the situation after Germany's defeat (see below for lyrics). This stanza was popular at that time, but never became part of the official anthem. Today this stanza is largely forgotten.

As a result of the war, the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart. The remaining German-speaking part declared the Republic of German Austria and intended to join Germany. With this, the united Germany as described 80 years earlier in the Deutschlandlied would have been achieved.

Yet, the Treaty of Saint-Germain prohibited this, and required the use of the name Austria instead. In addition, South Tyrol was occupied and annexed by Italy which now controlled the river Etsch in its full length. Also, among other territories, the Treaty of Versailles stripped Germany of areas near the other borders that were described 80 years earlier in the Deutschlandlied:

* in the North, Northern Schleswig at the Belt was ceded to Denmark after the Schleswig Plebiscites
* in the West, the cities Eupen and Malmedy located well East of the Maas, became part of Belgium in 1925 after plebiscites that required names and addresses of the voters
* in the East, the Memelland beyond the Memel was put under control of France and later transferred to Lithuania without plebiscite, making the Memel the new border
* in the South, Italy annexed South Tyrol, and thus all of the river Etsch

On 11 August 1922, President Friedrich Ebert made all three official stanzas of Das Lied der Deutschen the official German national anthem. This choice certainly also served as a reminder of the lost areas.

During the Nazi era, the first stanza was heavily used, unlike the second and especially the third, which did not fit at all into the agenda with its "freedom and justice". Instead, the Horst-Wessel-Lied was played after the first stanza.

In the Anschluss of 1938, Hitler added Austria to the German Reich, and in 1939, pressured Lithuania into returning the Memelland. His deal with Mussolini regarding South Tyrol required the population there to choose the Option in the province of Bolzano-Bozen: either emigrating to neighboring Nazi Germany or remaining in the province and being forcefully integrated in to the mainstream Italian culture, losing their language and cultural heritage. Thus Hitler himself not only ignored the heritage of the Deutschlandlied, but actively started the series of expulsions of Germans from their traditional home lands that was later continued in the East.
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