Socialist Germany: The old is new again

"A multimillion-dollar campaign to boost Germans' low self-confidence has backfired after it emerged that its slogan was coined by the Nazis. The $34 million "Du Bist Deutschland -- You Are Germany" -- campaign was devised to inspire Germans to stop moaning and do something good for their country. Beethoven, Einstein and the sports stars Franz Beckenbauer and Michael Schumacher have been cited in advertisements encouraging Germans to take more pride in their homeland.

But a historian from Ludwigshafen has provoked an uproar with his discovery that the same "Du Bist Deutschland" cry was used at Nazi rallies in the 1930s. Stefan Morz uncovered photographs of a 1935 Nazi convention in which soldiers display a banner reading, in Gothic script, "Denn Du Bist Deutschland (Because You Are Germany)." The slogan was topped with the head of Adolf Hitler. Leading Nazis such as Hermann Goring and Joseph Goebbels attended the event."

(Excerpt from here)

The Nazi connection is not as obscure as the article excerpted above pretends. One of Hitler's favourite slogans was: "Um uns ist Deutschland. In uns marschiert Deutschland. Und hinter uns kommt Deutschland!". Like much of Hitler's rhetoric it cannot be translated in a way that gives much idea of the impact of the original but it literally means: "Around us is Germany, In us Germany marches and behind us comes Germany". So the basic idea behind the modern slogan and Nazi thinking is pretty similar: Identifying the individual with the nation and making Germany a sort of mystical icon. All very Hegelian!

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