Fatherland no more? Equality boss wants German anthem change

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BERLIN (AP) - A German equality official reportedly wants to change the country's national anthem to make it more gender-neutral, including by removing a reference to "the Fatherland."

The Weekly Bild am Sonntag reports that Kristin Rose-Moehring suggested replacing the word "Vaterland" with "Heimatland," which roughly translates as homeland. The newspaper reported Sunday that Rose-Moehring also proposed replacing another male-specific word, "brotherly," with "courageous."

Rose-Moehring, who speaks for the 25 equality officials in Germany's top federal departments, suggested making the change on March 8, International Women's Day.

Austria and Canada have both removed gender-specific terms from their anthems in recent years.

Germany officially cut its national anthem to only the third stanza of August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben's lyrics in 1991. The Nazis favored the first stanza, which declares "Germany above all."

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