Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eure Zukunft ist Nicht Unsere

My German is still good enough to know that means something like, "Your Future is not ours." It's an interesting idea, but what did that mean on the back of a sweatshirt? It could have lots of different meanings depending on the context.

So, I asked the young woman wearing the sweatshirt.

It's the motto of the band of her boyfriend.

And what band was that?

A few letters are missing here. It's "Zivilversager." I didn't know that word. She said it meant "loser." (Zivil means civil and the verb versagen means to fail.)

So here's someone visiting Anchorage from Germany, spreading an aspect of German culture. It made me think about all the travelers in history who as they passed through foreign lands shared music and food and transferred bits of their culture around the world and took bits of other cultures back home. It's easier today to travel the world online and find other customs and arts. Yet I doubt I would have heard of Zivilversager had I not seen this sweatshirt.

Would I have missed anything important? Probably not. This is a punk rock band - obviously US culture already mixed into German culture - but it does add a bit more to my understanding of Germany today. Maybe. As long as I put it as one more bit of data that eventually adds up to impressions (not conclusions.)

You can listen to Zivilversager's music here.  There's even one in English (Broken Glass).

It turns out when I went looking online, I first got this video.  The idea is very similar, but slightly different:   "Unsere Zukunft wird nicht die Eure sein!

My German is good enough to get me into serious trouble. That is, I think I might understand, but could be totally wrong. Is this a neo-Nazi anthem? Or is it a left wing cry against unemployment and poverty, "the State against the country, the employed against the officials, the blue collar workers against the white collar workers, the people of Bavaria against the Prussians, the Catholics against the Protestants"?  I think the latter, but I'm not completely sure.  Anyone out there reading this who can clarify what this video is about and what it represents?


  1. The sweatshirt does indeed say "Your future is not ours" but the song title in the video means "Our future is not yours." The German speaker at the beginning of the video sounds Bavarian. I think your second suggestion is correct (and you obviously have understood the meaning of his words). Unemployment, society falling apart, economy in tatters, etc. One commenter refers to another as "Komrad" so I think this is about a people's uprising from a left-wing point of view.

  2. Oh, the eternal rebellion of the young against the establishment.
    Having been raised in the North of the country, I did notice the Bavarian pronunciation as well, and the printed lyrics of the video were obscure enough to go either right of left politically, depending upon interpretation.
    But the "Ahnen"/forebears reference in the part of the lyrics seems a neo nazi "dog whistle".
    May I be wrong.
    Full disclosure: though a rather ancient specimen, my love for music is wide ranging from gregorian chants to trance techno. I have danced with balled fists at heavy metal concerts and swayed to goa trance. Go figure.

  3. Thanks for the comment Diagonal. I'm not sure what else to say. . . you've left things less clear. But being clearly wrong is worse than being unsure.

  4. Well, when we travel abroad with my family my dad always wears a yellow baseball cap and "Kőbánya" is written to it, because Kőbánya is the name of the district where we live.


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