Playing with Patriotism


What it means to be German has often been tied to one’s relationship to the nation-state. In view of the National Socialist past, many Germans regard patriotic statements with suspicion. Especially after reunification, however, more and more Germans began speaking out in favor of a positive patriotism. This was often tied to the Basic Law and its achievements, as expressed by the term “constitutional patriotism” [Verfassungspatriotismus]. On the other end of the spectrum, Germanness has also been defined in ethno-nationalist and xenophobic terms. This snapshot includes several sources that define Germanness primarily in terms of shared cultural values—although these values vary significantly depending on the background of the author.


  1. < Germany in the Twenty-First Century: Who’s Allowed to be German?
  2. Germany in the World Press >