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Angela Merkel, feminists spar over stripping ‘fatherland’ from German national anthem

Angela Merkel attempted to avoid a political minefield this week when a member of her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition called for a gender-neutral version of the national anthem.

Angela Merkel attempted to avoid a political minefield this week when a member of her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition called for a gender-neutral version of the national anthem.

“Deutschlandlied” made global headlines in 2017 when the United States Tennis Association accidentally played a taboo verse of the song not used since World War II. The song made news again on Monday with a letter released to the media by Equality Commissioner Kristin Rose-Möhring.

“Why don’t we make our national anthem gender sensitive?” Ms. Rose-Möhring wrote, the U.K. Telegraph reported. “It wouldn’t hurt, would it?”

The official’s plan includes replacing the words “fatherland” with “homeland” and “brotherly” with “courageous.”

A gender-neutral change would follow Canada’s lead, which recently altered “O Canada” to include the lyrics “in all of us command” instead of “true patriot love in all your sons command.”

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Ms. Merkel, quickly released a statement saying, “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 newspaper reported.

“Song of Germany” has been the nation’s anthem since 1922.

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