Weigerungshaltung

Refusal to comply. That is what this German word translates to in English. I am always fascinated when single words aren’t directly translatable in another language, but rather have to be described in several words. It makes me wonder if the people speaking these different languages actually think differently. The fact that there is a single succinct word for refusal to comply in German makes me wonder why the Germans were so susceptible to Fascism, why they had such a penchant to compliance. On the other hand the Germans have a tendency to combine several words in to one single word, so what the hell, it probably doesn’t mean a damn thing, in the philosophical sense. We have the Germans language to thank for the word Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft. How’s that for a word?
But that’s not actually what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about Weigerungshaltung: refusal to comply. History has shown that refusal to comply, if it is done by enough people and consistently enough, is far more powerful that any other form of resistance, political or otherwise. So organize, refuse to comply, and do not waver, do not obey. As good old Winston said: “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Listening to Memories of Prof. Longhair by Dr. John. How’s that for a non-sequitur?
Churchill

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2 thoughts on “Weigerungshaltung

    • Well, it’s debatable whether the Danes truly practiced refusal to comply in Word War II. They did cooperate with the German occupiers in many ways (who are “they”? Well, I suppose I mean the Danish government, which it is said was in fact fairly representative of the people). It is true that in other areas they did refuse to comply. In particular, they did not allow any Jewish people to be deported.

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