# Vergangenheitsbewältigung?

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Feb 18

A German compound word for Virginia's collection.,  :-)   meaning overcoming or coming to grips with the past, a hot topic with the current trends in European fragmentation.

And a question for Kninjanin:  are the Greek objections to the Macedonian Republic's use of the name Macedonia as silly as they seem, or do they mask a nationalistic wish among some Greeks to annex the Macedonian Republic?

Marianne Feb 18

A very meaningful word, which suits perfectly the collective needs and efforts in many countries to explain, "rewrite" more objectively, reprocess and overcome the "haunting phantoms of the past"; they call that also the politics (or policies) of pardon(ing):

That reminds also of anoher interesting expression, a synonym, "Aufarbeitung" (der Vergangenheit), i.e. "working up" (the past):

For T(h)ink:

Rooster Feb 19
Nein, ich spreche kein Deutsch
Marianne Rooster Feb 19

Lol, Rooster, you seem to know more than you want to admit - I did not forget your aviation knowledge, namely with regard to German and other fighters from the past, WW2 and more recent models, and quite a few other technical domains, which may involve a certain German vocabulary ...

And after all T(h)ink and I can help a bit ...

Kninjanin Feb 19

Macedonia was an ancient kingdom. It was founded by people similar to the Greeks. It was located in Northern Greece and modern Macedonia. Rome conquered Macedonia and Greek states in 146 BC and Romans ruled for many centuries. Byzantine Empire was Roman Empire but Greek language was official. In 7th century, Slavic tribes came to Macedonia and Greece. They were the ancestors of the Macedonians. Bulgarians ruled Macedonia in early Middle Ages.  Macedonia was a part of Serbian kingdom and Empire in 13th and 14th centuries. Macedonia was a Roman province and Byzantine theme. Ottomans divided Macedonia in sanjaks. In 1912, Serbian army elibarated Macedonia and Macedonia became Yugoslav in 1918. Macedonia became Vardarska banovina  in 1929. Communists created Republic of Macedonia and Macedonian nation. So, I would recognize Macedonia as state.

I agree, Kninjanin.  Thank you.

Virginia Kninjanin Feb 20

I was hoping you would see the Q and give your response, very interesting Kninjanin!

Virginia Feb 20

The Guardian link was interesting Tink...the emphasis was on the Nazi stuff, but I have read the USA and Canada are doing something similar as we acknowledge our ancestors' brutality to Native Americans...

* * *

I actually have a theory, comes out of some reading on Existentialism...namely, maybe the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are a universal human process, and that we humankind as a species are collectively working of the first noble truth, that of dukkha. Dukkha is a sense that things are not going well (usually translated as suffering but that's not a good parallel), and the way ahead is...yup... Vergangenheitsbewältigung! Look at your own past, acknowledge it, and find ways to move on with your newfound wisdom and understanding.

So, in my world view, hurrah for Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

Marianne Virginia Feb 20

Excellent, Virginia!

Virginia Virginia Feb 21

Marianne, I actually have another (well many, really) German word that is my special favourite...and I probably got this one from you, one of the lists you have posted? I love it SO much, I make notes of these things on little slips of paper and leave them or file them, or just maybe tuck them into various places around the house...

Anyway, the word is Erklärungsnot; it's almost certainly a compound word? The note I made says 'explanation distress,' something we feel when we realize we don't have any explanation for the big questions of life - existential angst.

Well, I am STILL wondering if German might be capable of deeper philosophical expressions than English, because I have never heard any English words to express this concept of Erklärungsnot. I myself even developed my own term for it, I call it "existential despair," and that has worked well...so I was delighted to find Erklärungsnot already a part of the German language!

Marianne Virginia Feb 22

Yes, Virginia, well defined and your reflections lead to some great philosophers and writers, namely the many dealing, for instance, with existentialism - and quite a few were German.

That reminds me also that conventional (and often overly conservative and/or ultra-modern) education is mostly oriented towards mass specialisation following industrial, economical and sociopolitical, religious and cultural "market" demands, which are evolving or changing too quickly. But these education systems are often driving people into a certain helplessness and/or dependence on services, infrastructures, support, investments, tools, food, etc. and artificial models or needs of "happiness" and motivation.

Further, digging further, there are also "Weltschmerz" (pain/sadness & world/universe - a feeling of undefined sadness and emptiness), "Ruinenlust" (delight/pleasure/longing & ruins - pleasure/delight at seeing ruins), "Futterneid" (feed/food & envy/jealousy - coveting the feed or food of the "other(s), which can lead to fights ... ")

Virginia Virginia Feb 22

Oh Marianne, I loved the kittens...they are precious...what a wonderful illustration of "futterneid"...!

And yes to Weltschmerz...world pain..., I picked that one up when I was only in my twenties...I loved it...

Marianne Virginia Feb 22

Lol Virginia, that is great.

Virginia Virginia Feb 22

Now Marianne, I ask you, what kind of language has NO dedicated word for "food fights"...? How can English be a complete and functioning language when it doesn't even have a single word to express the-fat-you-pick-up-from-overeating-because-you-are-sad and need comfort food? (Kummerspeck being another word I got from you...)   sigh...

Marianne Virginia Feb 22

Lol, Virginia, I don't know what to say - there are also many weird, funny, exceptional and nice expressions in English, French, Italian, etc., which are spicing literature, poetry and everyday talk.

Virginia Virginia Feb 22

Ha ha, yes English does have them also, I suppose...but some of the word lists from German that you have posted here have been both fascinating and hilarious!

Marianne Virginia Feb 22

Lol, I think that complicated words are often hilarious and fascinating ...