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“Rammstein” – Is there a Secret Meaning?

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The Ramstein Air Show Catastrophe

The official version of where Rammstein got their name is that they named it after the town, Ramstein, where the worst air disaster in history occurred in 1988 at an air show at the American airbase. There was a collision of Italian aircraft that resulted in the deaths of 47 spectators and the injury of about 500 others. There was an intense anti-American reaction from the German public after the disaster. So, there is already a certain anti-American connotation to the naming of the Band after this town. When there is an anti-American component, it invites one to ask just how anti-American this name is?


Ramstein AirShow Catastrophe

If the group really wanted to name itself after the town of Ramstein to make an association with this accident, why not spell it the same as the Town’s name is actually spelled with a single “m”? The name “Rammstein” is spelled with two “m”s. The extra “m” gives the name the meaning of a “battering ram” of stone in German. It seems as if they are trying to signal a little more than than an accidental air collision caused by Italian pilots. Why do they want to suggest ramming? The verb “ram” suggests a deliberate collision with an object for some purpose. The Italian pilots did not ram each other, they collided accidentally. Is Rammstein trying to suggest something more?

Rammstein is famous for loving to give their works more than one meaning. Could there be some other meaning that can be attributed to the name “Rammstein” (Battering Ram)? Let’s speculate a little about other battering rams in German history and especially during the aviation history of the Third Reich, since Rammstein seems to allude to Nazism so often, and see if we can not find a potentially deeper meaning.

Sonderkommando Elbe

It is interesting to remember at this point the story of a squad of Luftwaffe pilots near the end of WWII in 1945. Gigantic formations of well-armed, US Flying Fortresses (B-17’s), consisting often of about 1,000 bombers plus fighter escorts were rapidly extinguishing Hitler’s Nazi 1,000-year Reich, analogous to how some Germans today fear American Culture is extinguishing German Culture. The German fighters were not able to mount an effective attack against the formations of B-17’s that protected each other when they flew in formation with multiple installations of 50 caliber machine guns on each aircraft.

An American Overreaction provoked by “Old German Hard”?
B-17 Flying Fortresses Bombing Good Old Nazi Germany.
B-17 bomber Formation over Germany

Americans in the era of WWII had at that time only a primative sense of humor, compared to the much more advanced European humorists and were not able to appreciate the rather obvious satire of the then masters of the “Old German Hard” style, Hilter, Goebbels and Himmler. Now we know that Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were not actually Nazis. They just loved to talk about Nazi themes a lot in a satirical fashion. What a mistake!

In a desperate attempt to disrupt these American bombing raids a group of suicide pilots were formed whose mission was to attack the bomber formations by using their aircraft to literally “ram” these formations of enemy bombers. Now, here is an incident in German aviation history, where some aircraft intentionally rammed other aircraft. The name of this group was “Sonderkommando Elbe” (Special Command Elbe). It was also called the “Rammkommando” and the planes were called “Rammjäger” (Ramming Fighters). There were about 120-150 pilots in this Squadron. Since it was a suicide mission the planes were stripped of weapons and other unnecessary equipment to make the plane lighter and faster. Experienced pilots were not expendable, so the suicide pilots were very young and inexperienced volunteers.

So the name “Rammstein” can very easily be taken to allude to this “Rammkommando” from WWII, whose goal was to deliberately collide with (ram) American bombers. The Rammjäger battled American destruction of Germany in WWII as Rammstein thinks they battle the destruction of German culture now by American “Unkultur”. Rammstein may also be on a kind of a suicide mission, in that, if it should become widely recognized, that they could have such a super nationalistic message, the German public, as well as others, may very well reject the group.

Messerschmitt going Down,
Displaying the Rammstein Cross.
Symbolic of Rammstein?
Messerschmitt going down in flames

The Rammkommando mounted only one operation against the American bombers. This operation was called Operation Werwolf (Werewolf). (The Werewolf motif is also used in Rammstein performances.) A few dozen Rammjäger attacked a formation of 1,300 B-17 bombers accompanied by 700-800 fighter planes. They succeeded in downing 23 American bombers, while losing most of their pilots and planes and were soon disbanded afterwards.

However, perhaps the ideals of the group survive today among some modern, die-hard “Werewolves”. In fact Rammstein portrays themselves as a pack of werewolves in their music video “Du riechst so gut”. In this video the Rammstein Werewolves confused by the sun (the sun can represent the swastika) smell and track their Mother (the current democratic Mother, Germany?) and eventually surround and destroy her.

Below are two references to Sonderkommando Elbe. You will see the Rammstein’s Balkenkreuz many times in the first reference.

Sonderkommando Elbe
(Translated from Greek into something that, at times, resembles English)

Sonderkommando Elbe
(in German)

As mentioned in the reference above, the men of the suicide pilots of Sonderkommando Elbe were finally recognized in 1991 with a monument in the town of Celle. Three years later in 1994 the group, Rammstein, was formed. The rest is history.

The Symbolic Meaning of Fire

In the next section after this one contains one of the performances of the song Rammstein. Lindemann sets himself on fire like a burning fighter plane (or is it a KKK cross?) and does the performance mostly in the colors of the Third Reich (Black/White/Red).

Fire can represent transformation or change (i.e. revolution) and/or the German national spirit. The Nazis also loved to accompany their rituals with fire, as with the bonfire at a SS meeting below or with massive torchlight parades, etc.

Bonfire at Nazi SS Rally –
“We must guard the fire (Nazi Spirit) within us.
The fire must never be extinguished!”
Bonfire at Nazi SS Rally

There were several nationalistic songs about fire or flames used by the Nazis and SS. That is also what the flames on the drums of the Hitler youth appear to represent, the national socialist revolutionary spirit. The most well-know nationalistic song about fire seems to be “Flamme Empor”, which was composed more than 100 years before the Third Reich, but was popular also in the Third Reich.

“Un-German” books were burned by students in bonfires. As the books were thrown into the fire, the students would recite “Fire Oaths”. Here are some examples of the fire oaths:

“Nazi Fire oaths” used at book burnings.

Against the democratic-Jewish character of journalism alien to the nation
For responsible collaboration on the work of national construction

Against literary betrayal of the soldiers of the World War
For the education of the nation in the spirit of standing to battle

Against the arrogant corruption of the German language
For the cultivation of the most precious possession of our nation

Against impudence and presumption
For veneration and reverence for the immortal German national spirit

The Rammstein Video

And here is the video of a live performance of the song “Rammstein”, complete with Rammstein’s own fire effects.


Rammstein – Rammstein Live

English Lyrics for “Rammstein – Rammstein”

The phases in parentheses are possible interpretation of what the verse could mean in the Rammkommando context. Note: The sun can be used to represent the Swastika, as explained elsewhere in this website (See Die Sonne). So, “The sun shines” can be taken to mean it is the Nazi times. Also, it should be noted that there were no mass graves at the air accident, but there were plenty of mass graves during the US bombing campaign of Germany. It has been estimated that 800,000 civilians were killed in the US/British bombing of Germany. It seems quite understandable that there may still be a couple of bitter Industrial Metal musicians left in “Good Old Germany”. Why would they not be bitter? Metal Rockers seem to be bitter about almost everything?

Rammstein

Rammstein
A man burns
Rammstein
The smell of flesh lies in the air
Rammstein
A child dies
Rammstein
The sun shines (It is the Nazi time.)
Rammstein
A sea of flames (As with the bombing of German cities.)
Rammstein
Blood runs on the asphalt (From the victims of the bombings.)
Rammstein
Mothers scream
Rammstein
The sun shines (It is the Nazi time.)
Rammstein
A mass grave (For thousands of civilians killed by American bombers.)
Rammstein
No escape ( From a suicide mission.)
Rammstein
No birds sing anymore (Quiet. Everything was devastated by the bombing.)
Rammstein
The sun shines (It is Nazi time.)

Puhdys with Till Lindeman – WUT WILL NICHT STERBEN

The lyrics below to “Wut will nicht sterben” were written by “Die Puhdys”, another East German band, who do not seem at all sinister. However in the Rammstein context they seem to work well with the idea of the Rammkommando, Rammjäger and a deep resentment of Americans and American culture can be read into the lyrics. “You have pursued, hunted and cursed him. You ram your hate into him like a Rammstein.”


Rammstein – Wut will nicht sterben

Wut will nicht sterben (Rage does not Die)

Tell me how far you want to go
do you want to see him on the ground – Yes
do you want him to kneel before you
do you want him to beg for mercy

Thoughts of vengeance whipped from humiliation
you don’t see or hear anything else
your sick feelings
don’t give him a chance
your rage will not die
and you only live for that now

You can not, will not and do not want ever to forgive
and you demonize his entire existance
you drift into madness from
boundless anger, destruction and vengeance,
you were born to hate

My rage does not die
my rage does not die
my rage will never die

You ram your hatred into him
like a stone. – Rammstein
you have pursued, hunted, and cursed him
and he tried to crawl away

You can not, will not and do not want ever to forgive
and you demonize his entire existence
you drift into madness from
boundless anger, destruction and vengeance,
you were born to hate

My rage does not die
My rage does not die
my rage will never die

You can not, will not and do not want ever to forgive
and you demonize his entire existance
you drift into insanity from
excessive anger, destruction and vengeance,
you were born to hate

My rage does not die
my rage does not die
my rage will never die

DU RIECHST SO GUT

An here is the video “Du riechst so gut”. Think of the woman as Mother Germany. From this video, Lindemann obviously has an oedipal relationship with Mother Germany. The Rammstein members portray werwolves, which can connote the suicide pilots described above or the terrorist group (called the Werwolf aka Wehrwulf) that formed from SS and Hilter Youth near the end of WWII and was meant to continue the fight and to terrorize the people of Germany into not surrendering. It can also stand for modern Neo-nazis, who often use the Werwolf metaphor. The people in the masquerade party can be taken to represent the current community of democratic nations in which modern day democratic Germany participates. They all dance in formation to the America’s tune, of course, on a parquet floor with a lattice design that could be made of swastikas joined together. In the end the Werewolves destroy Mother Germany and she also turns into a Werewolf (read Nazi). At the very end of the clip Rammstein is transformed from wolves to priests. What do they represent as priests? Are they the apostles of the new Nazism?

The wolf motif is very popular among Nazis. This is probably due to Hitler himself making frequent use of the Wolf motif. Hitler referred to himself as “Wolf” or “Herr Wolf”. His headquarters in different parts of Europe were named after the Wolf. In East Prussia it was called the “Wolfschanze” (Wolf’s lair), in France the “Wolfsschlucht” (Wolf’s Gorge) and in the Ukraine his headquarters was call “Werwolf”. This fascination of Hitler with wolves comes from the meaning of the name “Adolf”, which is “noble wolf” in Old High German (noble in the sense of “royalty”). Adolf is apparently a contraction of “Adler Wolf”. “Adel” means “noble” (royal) in German.


Rammstein – Du riechst so gut

Du riechst so gut / You smell so good

Insanity
is only a short bridge
the banks are reason and desire
I’m after you
the sunlight confuses the mind
a blind child that crawls forward
because it smells its mother

I find you

The track is fresh and on the bridge
drops of your sweat, your warm blood
I don’t see you
I only smell you, I sense you
a predator that screams of hunger
I track you for miles by scent

You smell so good
you smell so good
I persue you
you smell so good
I will find you
– so good
I’m stalk you
you smell so good
I will have you soon

Now I have you

I wait until it is dark
then I grasp your wet skin
don’t betray me
oh, don’t you see the bridge is burning
stop screaming and don’t resist
because otherwise it will collapse

You smell so good
you smell so good
I will persue you
you smell so good
I will find you
– so good
I stalk you
you smell so good
I will have you soon

You smell so good
you smell so good
I will persue you
you smell so good
I will find you
– so good
I will touch you
you smell so good
now I have you

You smell so good
you smell so good
I will persue you

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