Nancy Visser wants to reinterpret the German concept of the heart from the dresser table. There really couldn’t be a more disastrous time for this idea.
Remember the last conversation about home? If you are – like me – the so-called “potato”, “organic German”, or very local, but you want to express it, you probably don’t. On the other hand, if you can show a little emigration, you’ll probably understand “home” better – in “Origin”, Sasa Stanisic calls his dentist “Dr. Heimat,” who helps him in Germany.
In any case, it is Nancy Visser, the SPD minister in charge of the homeland, who is responsible for the new debate about the homeland. She recently said in a Zeit discussion that the term homeland should be “reinterpreted.” At the same time, she raised the rainbow flag in the ministry. Flags, they’re always deceptive: a Green Party politician recently told me he’s insulting his party by saying he supports the German flag.
Understandably, the idea of Pfizer’s reinterpretation sparked outrage, particularly on the conservative spectrum: a reinterpretation of the innermost being with a finger pointing from above could suit a Social Democrat! Franz Josef Wagner wrote in “Bild” that he needed no reinterpretation: “The house is my childhood in my parents’ botanical garden. Catching fireflies, lying on your back in the grass, looking at the clouds in the sky.”
Infringement as the essence of the brand
Now, infringement has become somewhat of the core of the Faeser brand: recently it wanted to close a communication space with Telegram without legal basis, simply because it felt like it. However, the minister is certainly responsible for the homeland by virtue of the organizational structure of the government – but what does that actually mean?
I admire Post von Wagner loosely, but fireflies are misleading: home does not mean comfort—or, as Max Frisch puts it, home “is not defined by comfort.” For some, such as writer Max Kollek, “Heimat” has ethnic connotations, the term returning from the work of “Haqq.”
We thank Horst Seehofer for the fact that we have a Ministry for the Fatherland. A CSU politician gave it to his 70th birthday. Giving yourself birthday presents is a strange thing in Seehofer, sometimes a new ministry, before the deportation of 69 refugees. You and I may settle for a marble cake, but we’re not ministers either.
Beer bottles are also at home
As is well known, high society loved to laugh at Seehofer, for example on his model railroad in his basement, for his gasping laughter, but after his guest contributions on the theme of the house no one laughed. Patriarch CSU has realized something important and put it in a nutshell: many people feel left out. from everything. At the time, this feeling of backwardness was all about globalization, immigration, and economic success. Seehofer did not want to oppose it in a crowded German manner, but rather to oppose structural politics.
Seehofer’s approach has become more objective since the cold winds of inflation have blown across the country and the present is only played in the minor key. Not only the economic prospects, but also the disasters of the past couple of years give many people the feeling that we all have a brutal reputation.
We have seen the pandemic shake confidence in society and the state. We have seen how supposedly self-evident freedoms crumble and the executive branch, at its height, wanted to regulate reading on the bench. We discuss self-propelled howitzers and nuclear strikes, Civil Protection warns us about stockpiling Finally and because of the looming energy crisis, beer bottles are running out – beer, there is a house in them too.
A country in crisis
A sense of economic prosperity is part of feeling home for many Germans, and the country has weathered the financial crisis and the euro crisis quite well. But now Ukrainian refugees are telling us what an old Germany run on paper looks like to them. The cost of refueling and therefore a car, such a motorhome, is getting more and more expensive, and inflation is eating away at the old age savings.
Home also means belonging and a sense of community. Meanwhile, newscasters are pounding relentlessly for gender justice, and the recent debate (on the internet) about the proper name for the spice hasn’t been around for long. A deputy complains that he cannot find an apartment in the capital for his salary of about 10 thousand euros per month, while news magazines publish on their front page that the dream of owning a home has been shattered. It is no coincidence that the word “home” contains a syllable.
So if the house has anything to do with familiarity and cultural community, it is in very deep trouble. Something has been brewing for years, and the repetition of very loud Russian propaganda in talk shows and comment columns is also a sign of that. “Putin is the patron of a totalitarian restoration movement of people who believe that what really belongs to them has been taken from them,” Werner Schultz said in an interview about the alarming popularity of the warlord in the east of the country. Many would have suspected imperialism in the West, of “colonialism”, and not of Russia.
Advance or step away?
Traffic light want to “dare further”. It’s doing really well if you don’t get ahead of its population. Is it really the time for an SPD minister from the cabinet table to take action on the last thing some people still think they have: their home? Is it possible to declare a “turning point” too much?
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who had just been discharged from collegiate service, had a good sense of what “home” meant. “Bring me a bottle of beer, or else I’ll strike here,” said the godfather of merry. Perhaps this did not help the difficult path of Hartz 4, which was unforgivable in the SPD, and today not with his loyalty to Putin, which no one has forgiven, but shows a talent for making a connection between “those there.” and “those over there”: beer drinkers together.
But, of course, Olaf Schultz is not Schroeder, and 2000 is not 2022. As I said, bottles of beer are becoming scarce anyway.