Sunday, 13 November 2016

Hoffmann von Fallersleben and the Song of Germany (Germany)

August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben was born in Fallersleben in 1798. He went to schools in Helmstedt and Braunschweig and later studied in Göttingen and Bonn. In 1823 he started to work at the university library of Breslau. He married in 1849 and in 1860 he became librarian in Corvey Castle near Höxter, where he also died in 1874. Today he is especially known for writing the text of the Song of Germany, although he wrote many other poems and also children's songs, which are very famous in Germany.

He wrote the Song of Germany in August 1841 during his stay on Heligoland. It uses a melody composed by Joseph Haydn and was played for the first time in Hamburg in October 1841. In 1922 it was declared national anthem of Germany, but because it was also used by the Nazis there was a discussion after World War II whether it is still suitable for the new democratic state. In 1952 the decision was made that the song remains the national anthem, but that only the third stanza is sung.

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