German National Anthem

The national anthem of Germany is called the “Deutschlandlied,” which translates to mean “Song of Germany.” It is also called “Das Lied der Deutschen,” which means “The Song of the Germans.” The music for the song was originally written by Joseph Haydn in 1797. The music was originally written as the hymn “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser” for the birthday of Emperor Francis II. It was in 1841 when Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics to go with the music. At the time, the lyrics were considered to be revolutionary and became one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.

It was in 1922 when the song was selected as the national anthem and was officially adopted. However, with the division of the nation, East Germany selected its own anthem “Auferstanden aud Ruinen” that was in use from 1949 to 1990. West Germany did not have a national anthem for several years beginning in 1949. It was in 1952 when “Das Lied der Deutschen” was accepted as the national anthem, only with the third stanza being used for official occasions. After the nation was reunified, only the third stanza remained as the official national anthem.

The stanza that makes up the national anthem today is centered on unity, justice and freedom. The anthem also focuses on happiness and brotherly love.

German National Anthem Lyrics

Unity and right and freedom
for the German fatherland!
let us all pursue this purpose brotherly,
with heart and hand!
Unity and right and freedom
are the pledge of happiness.
Flourish in this blessing's glory,
flourish, German fatherland!

German National Anthem