What is it about?

This article explores how the most recent works of the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein express a Vergangenheitsbewältigung that is not limited to the history of the Nazi regime and divided Germany, but includes a much broader time and geographical frame that extends to Germany’s present and future. In particular, the article argues that Rammstein’s members confront their own Heimatsehnsucht, push for a new conceptualization of Germany, and forge an individual Germanness, rooted in their personal and political histories and expressed through their works.

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Why is it important?

The article raises important questions about the role of music in processing and grappling with difficult historical and cultural issues, and how artists can engage with and challenge dominant narratives of national identity. It highlights the ongoing debates in Germany around the concept of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or coming to terms with the past, and how Rammstein's approach fits into these discussions. It offers valuable insights into the intersections of music, identity, and history, and demonstrates how artists can contribute to broader social and cultural discussions through their work.


Working with Dr. Nick Henry on music is always a joy!

Juliane Schicker
Carleton College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Beyond Heimatsehnsucht: Rammstein’s Approach to Vergangenheitsbewältigung and German Identity, Popular Music & Society, August 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/03007766.2020.1797961.
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