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New German Patriotism: The Road to Berlin Goes Via Baghdad

DW-WORLD’s article on a nascent patriotism among German youth fueled by the U.S.-led war on Iraq has prompted several readers to share their thoughts on the new phenomenon.

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The Berlin band Mia dressed in the national colors of Germany.

I think it is good for people of all countries to feel patriotic, to have pride in their country, its history, culture, etc. However, I don't understand those Germans that tie their new patriotism to pacifism. The fact is there are terrible dictators in this world, and if the strong do not oppose them, then the weak will suffer under them. We in the West are the strong. Where is the morality in saying we are free and living in peace while people suffer under the likes of Kim Jong Il? Aren't we morally obligated to do all we can to end the rule of people like this? As for using the U.N., it never accomplishes anything. The U.N. wants to talk dictators and tyrants out of power, that does not work. Unfortunately, the only way to remove someone evil from power is by force, economic or military. I only wish the Germans and French understood this.

-- Craig, California

I think that it is wonderful that there is a renewed feeling of German patriotism, it is long overdue. I'm a citizen of the United States and of German heritage. My love for the country of my heritage, has been due to the culture and wisdom that my parents instilled in their children. We were taught that we should never be ashamed of our heritage, but to embrace it. Greater still, are the lessons we learned in life. There is right and wrong, moral and immoral. To speak out in protest of government policy, is no less patriotic, as it is to support a government's action. I welcome and support the "New German Patriotism", but may their patriotism never be questioned because they do not agree with their governments actions. May they be as proud, because of the position they take.

-- Richard Pohlmann U.S.

Crediting U.S. President Bush for the youth in Germany finally loving their country is great. Keep it up, as there are many other things that President Bush might get credit for, peace in the middle east and security from terrorism for the whole world. Pacifism is a nice warm sounding word, but in reality it equates to being parasitical. You know, letting some other country fight the battle against terrorism for you.

-- Marc Johnson Sr

I am not German, but I have watched in amazement over the years to see the Germans being maligned in Hollywood, in the media and being used as the fall guy in many of America's sitcoms etc. My amazement comes, not that it is happening but that the Germans never seem to fight back. They take it as if it is a punishment that they deserve, but for what? It's time the Germans said "enough." Take back your pride.

-- Lynda Mortl

The bashing of Germany, and Germans, probably isn't what made Germany the progressive, positive nation it is in today's world. But if it will work for my country, the U.S., then fire away.

-- Jeremy Smith

That Germans are proud to Germans again is a wonderful development. In speaking with German friends and family, I have always been distressed to hear them disparage their own nation. A country needs healthy patriotism in order to progress. Feelings of purpose and community are indispensable for a good society. History has taught that excessive nationalism can send a country -- any country to ruin. I congratulate the youth of Germany for learning that, most people never will. To see them espouse a new patriotism which is mindful of past errors, but anxious to celebrate the best aspects of the culture they have inherited, is unique in the world, and something I hope we will all learn from.

-- Coogan Rencz, Canada

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