About the song Deutschland (2019) by Rammstein
On the evening of March 28, 2019, the German band Rammstein posted a video for the song "Deutschland" online. In the video, the group offers their vision of the history of Germany: knights, national socialism, the Holocaust, the USSR. The contrast of the characters of the main characters makes you think ...
New marks of what is permitted…
German hard rock band Rammstein has created an unprecedented buzz around their new video, which was released on March 28. In the video, the band members appeared in the attire of concentration camp prisoners, with nooses around their necks. Such a move caused a wave of protests from politicians, historians and Jewish communities. Critics accused eminent musicians of a cynical publicity stunt. Allegedly, the team decided to play with the images of the Nazis to attract media attention, as well as to create additional excitement around their new musical creation.
In fact, this isn't the first time the band has used dark warlike imagery for their videos. The 1998 video included excerpts from the Nazi propaganda film Olympia directed by Leni Riefenstahl.
Here is what Charlotte Knobloch, ex-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has to say about the new video:
“In the new video, the group crossed the last line of what is permitted. Irresponsibility is manifested in the trivialization of the Holocaust. Rammstein uses the fact of millions of people suffering and killing for entertainment purposes, and in the most frivolous and repulsive way.
Founded in 1994, the cult German rock band has become famous for its polished guitar riffs, lewd antics and over-the-top theatrical productions with lots of pyrotechnics. Their songs are based on terrible stories, from cannibalism to necrophilia, and the very name of the group is reminiscent of the terrible plane crash in Ramstein in 1988, which killed 70 people and seriously injured more than 1,000.
In an interview in 2006, Till Lindemann, frontman of the controversial band, was asked if the band would use Nazi themes again, to which the answer was:
"Not. Because I'm fed up with accusations that our group is right-wing."
However, in the new video, the team members are dressed in black-and-white striped concentration camp uniforms and appear to be waiting for their execution by hanging. Lindemann shines his face into the camera, bleeding from a cut, and the 54-year-old guitarist Paul Landers has a Star of David on his robe. At the end, large letters appear, which form the name of the song "Deutschland".
Reaction to the clip
A number of politicians expressed anger and disgust at the video, with Jewish historian Michael Wolfson calling it "a new form of desecration of the dead". In the words of Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein, this is, to quote: "a tasteless exploitation of artistic freedom, representing an absolute violation of the red line."
A year ago, the lyrics of two German rappers Farid Bang and Kollegah, in which the lines were heard that their bodies are "more defined than the prisoners of Auschwitz", caused serious anger. The scandal sparked rallies of colossal proportions calling for solidarity with Jews in Berlin and other cities.