We live in a backward time. Donald Trump dreams of a wall and wants to have military parades pulled through Washington after Soviet model. In Russia, people are rushing against gays, lesbians and transgenders, detaining political opponents and murdering journalists. Britain is steering eye on Brexit catastrophe and Turkey is turning back into a dictatorship. Poland's nationally Conservative government gives itself to Catholic Church, when previous popes were allowed, and in Austria and Hungary, nationalism and xenophobia have also been raised to government principles. With us in Germany today, right-wing extremists are sitting in parliament and under leadership of a man who has repeatedly made speeches by right-wing populist rhetoric, re will soon even be a "home ministry".
Why a "home Ministry"? Why now? The concept of "Homeland" has made an unexpected career in past ten years. For a long time, "Homeland" was a word that hardly one or one of us would have used unironically or without imaginary quotes. Its not quite glorious history had survived it bias in composites like "hometown" or "hometown". Today, a "homeland" again meets everywhere and once again becomes a political buzzword, becoming an uncertain pathos formula. With strange emphasis of this word you can again sell Prima cookbooks, music, baking mixes, drinks and TV shows. It is found as a crisis-driving slogan on dish cloths, pot cloths and doormats. Cafes, restaurants and hotels are so. It is no longer an integral part of any party program, and it seems that Ministry of Interior also has to bear this word in its name – although one might think that it has always taken care of native issues by definition.A unreal yearning
A glimpse into cultural history reveals that people always talk about homeland when y believe y have lost something like homeland. Speaking about Homeland is, in this sense, above all a symptom – a symptom of collective uprootedness feelings and supposed loss of cultural and regional identities. For a long time, word was nothing but a name for birthplace or land in which one had a permanent residence.Daniel Schreiber
is a writer and journalist. He finally appeared "at Home" (Hanser Berlin, 2017). He lives in Berlin.
This changed, however, at end of 18th and beginning of nineteenth century, when term for first time experienced romantic transfiguration that we are still giving it today: "Homeland" now stood for ideas of belonging, rooting and regional way of life. This transfiguration was first and foremost a side effect of national idea, which germinated in n fragmented small States of Germany and led several decades later to founding of German Empire. But it was also a reaction to social and political upheavals of time – a reaction to rural exodus, industrialisation and European wars, which regularly pushed new national identities across country. Thus a modern term was coined which expressed pre-and antimodern ideas. The idyll, which should describe word, was irrevocably lost at time of its description. In fact, y had never actually existed eir.
The idea of homeland, which began at that time, was little more than a projection of collective yearnings, fears and nostalgia. It was a symbol of something that could not be expressed in any or way. She described a unreal, backward-going yearning.
This heritage is pervaded by all incarnations that home term has gone through in changing German history – and it has always predestined this term for political instrumentalization. In fact, re was no political system in our country that would have been without it. The German Empire invented Homeland Security movement. In different regional identities of country, Weimar Republic recognized root of "Farland Love". Homeland was central conceptual building block of Nazi blood and soil ideology. The young economic miracle-Federal Republic tried to forget dirty past with white washed home movies. In "Homeland Studies" lesson of GDR, term was used for ideological indoctrination. Homeland always described a wish that was more badly bound to reality – a wishful idea that existed to make it politically viable. "Homeland" has never existed without it being politically instrumentalized.
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