Just hours after getting the vote of support from the Social Democrat party (SPD), German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already put her foot down on one request coming from a party member to change Germany’s national anthem in order to make it gender sensitive.
“Why don’t we make our national anthem … gender sensitive,” Kristin Rose-Moehring (SPD), equality commissioner since 2001, said in a letter to the chancellor. “It wouldn’t hurt, would it?”
“It wouldn’t hurt, would it?”
Rose-Moehring’s desire to replace “Vaterland” (Fatherland) with “Heimatland” (Homeland), and change out “courageously with heart and hand” for “brotherly with heart and hand” may in her opinion fit with the times, but the idea was quickly deemed unnecessary by Merkel.
During a Monday news conference, Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that the “chancellor is very happy with our nice national anthem as it is in its traditional form and doesn’t see any need for change”.
The Deutschlandlied has acted as Germany’s national anthem since 1922, though it has seen a few revisions over the years, the most famous of which following the 1991 reunification with the removal of the first stanza declaring “Germany, Germany above all else”. Somewhat ironically, the second stanza that called attention to German women, was also removed from the official anthem.