MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) – “Deutschland über alles,” or “Germany above all,” a line that kicked off Nazi Germany’s national anthem, got a new lease on life in the Siberian republic of Buryatia, where a politician apparently retooled it for his campaign slogan.
Irinchei Matkhanov of the leftist A Just Russia is campaigning for a seat in the regional legislature under the slogan “Buryatia above all,” local media reported.
The slogan is supposed to show Matkhanov’s opposition to his homeland’s economic dependence on neighboring regions, the candidate, who currently represents Buryatia in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said Wednesday in an interview with regional news site Infpol.ru.
“They’re even importing eggs from Irkutsk. What, Buryatian hens can’t lay?” he asked rhetorically.
Matkhanov, a self-proclaimed Buryatian patriot, dismissed allegations of Nazi sympathies as “fascist speculations” by corrupt local politicians trying to draw attention away from “their thievery.”
Buryatia is a Germany-sized region east of Lake Baikal with a population of 970,000, some 30 percent of them ethnic Buryats, an indigenous Siberian nation of Mongolian descent.
A Just Russia, formally a leftist party, recently had to battle accusations of racism and ultranationalism after its candidate in Moscow’s mayoral race, Nikolai Levichev, released a campaign newspaper that used the word “yid.” Levichev retaliated by claiming that the word is a legitimate synonym for “Jew.”
“Deutschland über alles” was the beginning line of the German national anthem from 1922 until 1945. The line, as well as the rest of the first two stanzas, is banned in many countries, including Russia.