In this segment, we witness Germany personified as a queen from the late Middle Ages, leading a war of the era, possibly a crusade or a conflict between kingdoms. In the context of crusades, these were a series of wars endorsed by the Pope to defend the Holy Land. During this period, a significant portion of Germany was part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Germany itself launched a crusade in 1197, summoned by Emperor Henry VI, rallying over 7,000 knights. Austria and Cyprus also participated, all in defense of Christian dominion over those lands. However, the war took an unexpected turn with the death of Henry VI, as the leading knights of the crusade returned to Germany to contest the throne and protect their territories. Within a year of the crusade’s commencement, they had lost two cities.
Alternatively, the conflict depicted in Rammstein’s “Deutschland” could also represent one of the many feudal wars that occurred during medieval times. These wars were often driven by the expansionist ambitions of feudal lords.
While the Spanish Inquisition is more widely recognized for its cruelty, the German Inquisition is not far behind. Interestingly, the Spanish Inquisition was the longest-lasting. In comparison, Germany witnessed four times as many witchcraft-related murders as Spain. The music video portrays the burning of an individual at the stake, though the specific reasons remain undisclosed, likely pertaining to heresy. Heresy served as the primary motive, encompassing acts that the Church deemed as threats to its authority, even seemingly minor transgressions such as women wearing trousers.
It’s essential to note that all those apprehended through this process were coerced into confessing to crimes through brutal torture. Consequently, many confessed to crimes that were improbable or never occurred. At times, individuals proceeded to falsely admit to practicing witchcraft in the hope that doing so would spare them from mortal danger. Otherwise, they would face execution, even if they were innocent, but such an admission would be made with the Church’s favor.