Today is Red Army Day, and one of my co-workers mentioned her Russian friends have posted on Facebook about it. This turned into a discussion of the differences between the Soviet and Russian national anthems (there isn't much), which then went to Germany. In looking for a YouTube video of the German anthem, I encountered this:
Really? The video in question has a performance of the 1841 version ("Deutschland über Alles"), but presents it as an historical fact rather than as a political aspiration. This might offend people? Who are these people?
The German national anthem, "Deutschlandlied," takes its music from Hungarian composer Josef Haydn's "Emperor" quartet, Op. 76 No. 3, with lyrics penned by August Hoffmann in 1841—30 years after Haydn's death. These days Germans only sing the third verse (the second verse praises German women, another controversy apparently); but despite widespread ignorance, the first two verses were not written by the Nazis.
So, on what grounds is this offensive?
Let's see if historical versions of current national anthems are offensive in the U.S. Here is the 1770 text of the U.S. national anthem:
To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of harmony sent a petition,
That he their inspirer and patron should be.
When this answer arrived from that jolly old Grecian:
Voice, fiddle and flute no longer be mute,
I’ll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,
And besides I’ll instruct you like me to entwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine."
So, who's offended? Anyone?