Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Word of the Month: Der Hassprediger

Word of the Month: Index

Hass is the German word for hatred, and a Prediger is a preacher (derived from the verb predigen-to preach). Taken together, the two compounds refer to someone who, in his function as preacher, calls for hatred and violence. Hasspredigerin is the female form.

The term goes back to the end of the 19th century. But the Duden, the official German spelling guide, lists it in 2006 for the first time. This reflects an increased use in the early 2000s in connection with the activities of certain radical imams who used their pulpit to sow hatred against Western liberal societies and to call for a Holy War to overthrow them. [Source: Wikipedia article "Hassprediger"]

Since then, the term has assumed a wider meaning. It is now being used to characterize anyone who, in some public function, attempts to instill in an audience hatred of some group on the outside, be it for ethnic, political, or religious reasons, even instigate violence against members of that group. For example, the leaders of some xenophobic movements on the far right in Germany have been called Hassprediger (like other nouns ending in –er, the plural is the same as the singular). The term also comes to my mind when I listen to Donald Trump's tirades against Muslims and Mexicans.


Heika said...

I think this is a very useful word, especially for the current moment, where we actually have a hassprediger running for president and, even more terrifying, the man might be elected. I was hoping for a drawing of Trump. You have such a gift for faces and his, when he is spewing hatred, would seem a textbook illustration of the "hassprediger. "

Ulrich said...

Heika: Funny--I had planned to draw a cartoon of Trump preaching hatred, but between traveling to Germany and watching Euro 2016 soccer, I never got around to doing it. But now you have forced my hand--stay tuned!

Heika said...

I'm glad you added the Trump drawing. It seems especially appropriate given Trump's most recent call to violence--and that is how I read his egging on those who read the second amendment as the right to use guns however they see fit. Great image! You caught the essence of the man, which is just vileness personified.

Ulrich said...

For people who speak German: Here's an article illustrating the meaning and usage of the term:
Why one is allowed to call a Salafist "Hassprediger"
[Express, Jan. 5, 2017]