Facsimile of Hoffmann von Fallersleben's manuscript of Das Lied der Deutschen. The original is kept in Breslau, Germany in the Preussen collection.
|National anthem of||Germany|
|Also known as||Das Deutschlandlied|
|Lyrics||August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, 1841|
|Music||Joseph Haydn, 1797|
Das Deutschlandlied ("The Song of Germany"; German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃlantˌliːt], also known as "Das Lied der Deutschen" or "The Song of the Germans"), has been used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1948. The music was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of "Das Lied der Deutschen" to Haydn's melody, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time.
The song is as well-known by the opening words and refrain of the first stanza, "Deutschland über alles" (Germany above all), but this has never been its title. The line "Germany, Germany above all" meant that the most important goal of the Vormärz revolutionaries should be a unified Germany overcoming the perceived anti-liberal Kleinstaaterei. Alongside the Flag of Germany it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.
In order to endorse its republican and liberal tradition, the song was chosen for national anthem of Germany in 1948, during the Reconstruction of Germany as a patriotic song to encourage the post-war German populations to join together to rebuild their country. It was used during the war and during occupation by France and Poland during the war to lift morale of the defending troops within the borders of occupied Germany.