The German word “Volk” usually translates as “people,” but it means a whole lot more than that. In 1989 as Germans tore down the Berlin Wall, they chanted, “Wir sind das Volk!” (“We are the people!”) Today, though, “Volk” no longer unites Germans. Some understand it to mean everyone living in Germany. Others define it along ethnic lines, thereby excluding immigrants. Now with parliamentary elections looming as they did in 2017 when Patrick Cox first reported this, voters are again wondering: Who are the “Volk” of Germany? Who belongs, and who doesn’t?
Photo by Patrick Cox of German publisher and far-right activist Götz Kubitschek with his wife Ellen Kositza at their home in Schnellroda, Germany. Music in this episode by Podington Bear and Blue Dot Sessions. Read a transcript here.