In the past weekend, an anti-fascism protestor in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA) was mowed down and killed by a White-Nationalist protestor. And this news made headlines everywhere, locally and nationally.
And within all of the reporting, from many news outlets, noticed that the White-Nationalists were chanting a common line: “Blood and Soil”. This chant popped up many times when the group marched together, or in front of cameras.
But what is that slogan? Where does it come from?
In the German language it is: “Blut und Boden”. The central theme of the chant is ethically oriented, specifying “Blut” meaning “heritage” or genealogy related “blood line”, and “Boden” depicting “territory” or “homeland”. Like many political and military uprisings, this ideology wanted to be aligned and branded as the protector of the “rural way of life”. Probably, if put into modern definition, it would be the protector of “conservative way of life”.
Originating from the 19th century, the chant was of humble origins, and was a chant for/by the working & rural class. The slogan was mass distributed and loved, when the Nazi party in Germany rose to power. It was a perfect hijacking, some might call it today.
“In 1933, the Nazi Party made “Blood and Soil” an official policy, declaring some farmland hereditary.” – Quartz
And it proliferated and the chant still is respected by groups within the US, as the weekend clashes demonstrated.
In any case, every nation, groups and sub-groups, within nations have slogans. It’s a branding strategy helps groups glue together for a centralized cause. It’s worth noting where tools like this originate and become aware of its roots.
It remains to be seen how this uprise will affect the United States’ politics, public sentiments, policy, law, etc. But one thing seems to be concrete: there could be deeper wounds made and more difficult long road ahead.
Below are links to other news reports about this slogan, and related videos:
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) August 12, 2017
— Craig Stanley (@_CraigStanley) August 12, 2017