Fake German National Anthem

The “Trizonesien-Song”

BERLIN - JUNE 20: The Germany players sing their national anthem prior to the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Group A match between Ecuador and Germany played at the Olympic Stadium on June 20, 2006 in Berlin, Germany.
Soccer players singing along with the National Anthem. Lars Baron-Bongarts@Getty Images

Germany’s unofficial post-war period National Anthem – The “Trizonesien-Song”

What is “Trizonesien,” you might ask. Well, it is a term used in Germany after World War II. The former German territories were divided into roughly four different zones by the occupying forces (France, Russia, the USA and the UK). In 1949, the three zones under French, British and American administration were merged into one – the so-called “Trizone.” As the German people didn’t have an official name for their country after the Third Reich, the term “Trizonesien (Trizonia)” was created as a pun.

Cologne-based composer Karl Berbuer supposedly coined the term when he wrote the very famous “Trizonesien-Song,” which was released in 1948.


From Carnival-Song to quasi-National Anthem

Berbuer was very active in Colognes carnival scene, an immensely important part of North Rhine-Westphalia’s cultural heritage. When the “Trizonesien-Song” was published in 1948, the carnival had just re-immersed from the immediate post-war depression and set out to return some of Germany’s joie de vivre. As a result, the carnivals of that period radiated far from Cologne, carrying the “Trizonesien-Song” all over the country.  In fact, its popularity grew so strong it became a placeholder for a non-existent national anthem. It was played at sports events and even was mistaken for the official German national anthem by foreign officials.


The Dissociation of the harmless Germans

The lyrics of the song are mostly read as an ironic dissociation from World War II.

It seems Berbuer was trying to soothe the insecure and isolated German people, basically saying that they are harmless and normal. The “Trizonesien-Song” shows a longing for normality, but it also displays a certain conservatism and discontent with the Trizone’s situation. An alternative version of the song was released in the same year as the original, featuring a heavier satire but also more hints to conservatism and nationalism.

In 1952, Germany obtained an official national anthem, the “Lied der Deutschen (Song of the Germans)” by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (set to music to the Kaiserlied by Joseph Haydn) was reinstated (it had been national anthem since 1922 – between 1940 and 1945 the “Horst-Wessel-Lied”, hymn of the NSDAP was sung at official occasions). Only the third verse was sung at official events and after the German reunification, it was agreed that the official national anthem should only be comprised of said verse. The “Lied der Deutschen” was never free from criticism, as especially the first and second verses hold strong right-wing associations. Beneath, you’ll find the original lyrics of the “Trizonesien-Song” and their translation.


Lyrics and Translation


1. Mein lieber Freund, mein lieber Freund,

die alten Zeiten sind vorbei.

Ob man da lacht, ob man da weint,

die Welt geht weiter eins, zwei, drei.

Ein kleines Häuflein Diplomaten macht heut´ die große Politik.

Sie schaffen Zonen, ändern Staaten.

Und was ist hier mit uns im Augenblick?


2. Kolumbus fand Amerika,

ein neuer Erdteil ward entdeckt.

Was Marco Polo alles sah,

wurd´ dann von der Kultur beleckt.

Swen Hedin war am Himalaja,

er schritt durch heißen Wüstensand.

Am Nordpol stand Amundsens Heija.

Doch uns hat keiner je zuvor gekannt.


3. Doch fremder Mann, damit Du´s weißt.

Ein Trizonesier hat Humor.

Er hat Kultur, er hat auch Geist.

Darin macht keiner ihm was vor.

Selbst Goethe stammt aus Trizonesien,

Beethovens Wiege ist bekannt.

Nein, so was gibt´s nicht in Chinesien,

darum sind wir auch stolz auf unser Land.



Wir sind die Eingeborenen von Trizonesien.

Heidi-tschimmela- tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela bumm!

Wir haben Mägdelein mit feurig wildem Wesien.

Heidi-tschimmela- tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela bumm!

Wir sind zwar keine Menschenfresser.

Doch wir küssen um so besser.

Wir sind die Eingeborenen von Trizonesien.

Heidi-tschimmela- tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela bumm!





1. My dear friend, oh dear friend of mine

with the old days gone that may be

whether we laugh, whether we cry.

The world goes on one, two, three

Where a small clique of diplomats

now go to form our government strong

in making zones and other states.

What's with us at this moment wrong?


2. In America, Columbus had been

a new part of the world was found,

what Marco Polo first had seen

our culture would some day hold sound.

Hedin was or' Himalaya,

his traces from desert sand blown.

Amundsen's shout Heeyiya!   

Reached the people t'was yet unknown.


3. So stranger, hark so you hear it,

a Trizonesian has humour he's culture as well as spirit,

and of these nobody has more.   

Ev'n Goethe hails from Trizonesia,

from Beethoven's cradle we know,

nothing like this exists in Chinesia,

it's pride in this land that we show.



So we're truly the natives of Trizonesia, hey! Heidi-tschimmela-tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela-bumm!

We've got lassies with character and a fiery way,

Heidi-tschimmela-tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela-bumm!

Yet, actual cannibals we are not,

yet we kiss better right on the spot.

We're the natives of Trizonesia,

Heidi-tschimmela-tschimmela-tschimmela- tschimmela-bumm!