For other uses, see Fatherland (disambiguation).
Postcard of an Austrian and a German soldier on the First World War with the text "Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, for God, Emperor and Fatherland!"

Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers", "forefathers" or "ancestors". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it is evocative of emotions related to family ties and links them to national identity and patriotism, but in the English language it can also simply mean the country of one's birth or origin.[1] It can be compared to motherland and homeland, and some languages will use more than one of these terms. The national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, "Wien Neêrlands Bloed", makes extensive use of the parallel Dutch word.

The Ancient Greek patris, fatherland, led to patrios, of our fathers and thence to the Latin patriota and Old French patriote, meaning compatriot; from these the English word patriotism is derived. The related Ancient Roman word Patria led to similar forms in modern Romance languages.

"Fatherland" was first encountered by the vast majority of citizens in countries that did not themselves use it during World War II, when it was featured in news reports associated with Nazi Germany.[2][3] German government propaganda used its appeal to nationalism when making references to Germany and the state.[2][3] It was used in Mein Kampf.,[4] and on a sign in a German concentration camp, also signed, Adolf Hitler.[5] As such, the word "Vaterland" could be connected with National Socialism outside Germany; in Germany, this is not the case.

Groups that refer to their native country as a "fatherland"

Groups with languages that refer to their native country as a "fatherland" include:

" the Silesians as " Fatherland "

Romance languages, derived from Latin "patria"

Multiple references to parental forms

See also


  1. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fatherland
  2. 1 2 Anna Wierzbicka (21 July 1997). Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words : English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese. Oxford University Press. pp. 173–175. ISBN 978-0-19-535849-0.
  3. 1 2 Witnesses of War: Children's Lives Under the Nazis, page 328, by Nicholas Stargardt
  4. Six Million Crucifixions by Gabriel Wilensky. "What we have to fight for is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the creator"
  5. Nazi Germany reveals official pictures of its concentration camps - LIFE magazine Aug 21, 1939. "There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland."
  6. Vaterland-YouTube
  7. http://zpl.lt/2012/04/ziemia-ojcow/
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