As we, men and women sworn to Asatru, celebrate the final day of the epic Battle of Teutoburg Forest, I stand in awe of the courage of the Germanic peoples of central Europe. From Hermann's day down to our own, Germany (the country, but more importantly, the people themselves) has endured.
But what of the future? Read these excerpts from the recent Der Spiegel article on the Hermann anniversary. (The link has, unfortunately, expired.)
"The country is marking the 2,000th anniversary with restraint because the myth of Hermann remains tainted by the militant nationalism that would later be associated with Hitler."
"Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the battlefield in a forest near the village of Kalkriese in May to open an exhibition on Germanic tribes there, and some 400 actors dressed as Romans or Germanic tribesmen gently re-enacted scenes from the battle there in June, with rubber-tipped spears. Most actors wanted to be Romans, and there was such a shortage of Germanic warriors that some hirsute hobby Vikings had to be recruited to make up the numbers."
"This anniversary year has gone very well because it has been free of nationalist emotion...It has been dealt with far more soberly than one might have expected."
"I personally think this Hermann myth will pale. And I hope people in the future will take a closer look at history, question what they have learned and review the sources...We want to contribute to a spirit of taking a more sober, distanced look at history here."
If this is the mettle of the Germans in the Twenty-First century, they will not be long among us. If this nonsense reflects the temper of the times, Germans will all be brown and will be named Mohammed in another century. However, I suspect these quotes are the message the media wants us to get, and not the words in the hearts of ordinary Germans.
This whole issue is larger than the place on the map marked "Germany." It is ultimately about the descendants of various tribes, wherever they live in the world today. Hermann belongs to them as much as he does to people living in Berlin and Hamburg. He belongs not only to Germany, but to Germania - and that is in the heart of each of us who bear that noble heritage.
What will YOU do to carry this heritage into the future?
Asatru Folk Assembly