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Speech on Patriotism in Germany

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Speech on Patriotism in Germany

Germany, that is a word, a denomination for a country, but this country, our country, is no more than a loose union of very different people. We do not have a strong national identity. There´s Bavarians, Berliners, Hanseatics, Swabians or Saxons but there is no true German.

And that is because only that term, ‘true German’, already reminds everyone in this country of a man that is considered the most evil person in history. A man that said Germany was superior, and is the most infamous person on the planet because of it, a man called Adolf Hitler.

In Germany, we have not forgotten him, and the pure inexistence of patriotism, the unwritten forbiddance of being proud to be German, proves that in Germany ‘the past isn´t dead and buried, in fact, it isn´t even the past’. This quote comes from William Faulkner and it is 63 years old, but in Germany it is very much alive.

Hitler´s statements are still burned into the people´s heads, and they burn every spark of pride for our nation. We´ve had many great moments since the Nazi´s rule, we´ve been separated and we´ve been reunified, economically, we were at the bottom and we´re back on top, but still, we don´t seek to be seen as strong leaders in the world, we don´t stand together and sing our anthem with pride or have our flag hanging around everywhere.

But there is an exception, quite a surprising exception and that is, for no outstanding reason, our football team. They win and we´re so very proud. They lose and the nation is devastated. And every 2 years around June and July, the nation is flooded by flags and proud ‘Germans’.

And this makes me happy. For the people need to free themselves of the past; for there is no reason to be ashamed anymore. We´re better than Hitler and we need to start to forgive ourselves, We shall never forget but we shall get over him, like a terrible ex, because in the future, the world will need a strong and proud Germany to stand out for other countries not to fall for the same mistakes as we did and to see that it is possible to stand up and flourish. So I say, as our anthem states: ‘Flourish in this fortune´s blessing, flourish, German fatherland!’…...

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