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When Evil Wears the Best Garb : Random Thoughts : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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When Evil Wears the Best Garb

By: dayan (M) |Time : February 14, 2017, 12:02:17 AM
I read a news material online about how the US Tennis Association (USTA) mistakenly played the wrong German national anthem. The USTA has since apologized for the mistake, and things should return to normal.

What caught my attention was the fact that Germany has had different words in the same music since the end of second world war.  The wrong anthem is the Nazi version, and was changed after the end of world war II. I bet that a lot of Nigerians don't even know that Germany has this issue.

In any case, since I know the music of the German anthem (it is a music from a hymn in “Ancient and Modern” hymn book), I decided to view and listen to the old (Nazi) version on Youtube, and in the end came out with a mixed feeling. The words of the anthem goes thus:

"Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt"
It translates as "Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world" and was dropped after World War Two because of its association with Adolf Hitler.

How could this beautiful anthem have been used to commit so much evil when Nazism held sway in Germany and Europe?

Honestly, the words of anthems -all anthems - are usually just that -words. If we are to start listening to every national anthem on earth, one is sure to listen to all shades of words ranging from modest words to outrageous (often “hubristic”) ones. They remain words, until human beings give them effect in real life -on the ground. I may decide to sing that my country is GOD, and every other countries are little satans or some other demeaning thing -I am entitled to live in my hubris provided I don't go about killing or trying to subjugate peoples of other nations under my “GOD” country.

I listened to this anthem and could connect to the pride the Nazi's must have felt singing it, but I stopped myself fairly quickly when I remembered what Nazism means and what evil it committed on this earth.

But, perhaps what I was struggling with is the fact that this “beautiful” anthem could have been used to commit so much evil. Then, suddenly it dawned on me that some of the greatest evils ever known to man were packaged in cloaks of beauty -a witty dissonance. One needed to first take off the beautiful false cloak to unmask the devil inside. But the skills necessary to unmask such evil is usually not in the skill-set of most ordinary folks. So, the world's intellectuals need to remain alert to ensure that no evil is packaged so good that it misses the attention of the rest of the human family.
Secondly, it may be wiser to search for evil in the most beautiful places rather than looking in the direction of ugly places.




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