Merkel rejects making German anthem gender neutral

В Германии предложили сделать гимн гендерно нейтральным

German equality commissioner Kristin Rose-Moehring hopes to see the country's national anthem changed to comply with gender-neutrality norms.

Rose-Möhring, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), reportedly suggested replacing Vaterland (fatherland) with Heimatland (homeland), as well as changing the phrase "brotherly with heart and hand" to "courageously with heart and hand".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki listen to the national anthems during a welcoming ceremony prior to a meeting in the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

According to a report, an equality commissioner made the proposal to strike male-specific references from the anthem in a letter to staff at Germany's family ministry. That paves the way for a new government under Merkel to start work in mid-March.

And the general secretary of the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, likewise said she saw no need for change. "It wouldn't hurt, would it?"

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The national anthem is one of the most important symbols of the Federal Republic of Germany, alongside the flag and the eagle on the national emblem. It begins with the words "unity and justice and freedom".

Germany officially cut its national anthem to only the third stanza of August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben's lyrics in 1991.

A spokesman for the Family Ministry said that the letter had been a "personal contribution" from the equality commissioner.

Another said: "If that happens, I want to change (the phrase)'mother tongue' too".

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