West Germany (1952-1990)


The first official anthem of West Germany, the “Hymne an Deutschland”, remained without acceptance by the public, and therefore President Heuss and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer agreed in May 1952 to re-adopt the “Deutschlandlied” as the West German national anthem. It was declared that only the third verse, beginning with the words “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” (Unity and Right and Liberty) should be used at official occasions, due to the many misinterpretations of the first verse, and because of the first verse’s mention of former German borders, long lost in subsequent wars.

In 1990, upon the länder of East Germany joining West Germany to create a unified Germany, the West German anthem was legally still used as the national anthem of the new unified German state until August, 1991, when the united Germany formally adopted the same anthem that had been in use (i.e. West Germany’s, the third verse of “Lied der Deutschen”).

See also: Germany (1922-1945, 1990-).