(noun) Turning level in historical past, watershed, epochal shift in world geopolitics
Simply days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, German chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed the second to be a Zeitenwende. The post-cold struggle period was over. Germany and its allies should stand collectively in resolute defence of freedom and democracy. Germany must rethink its overseas, vitality and financial insurance policies, spend extra on defence and never be shy of offering management for Europe. No chancellor because the Federal Republic’s beginning in 1949 had made a speech fairly prefer it.
Like different German ideas reminiscent of Ostpolitik (coverage in the direction of communist jap Europe in the course of the chilly struggle), or Spitzenkandidat (main candidate to be European Fee president), Zeitenwende shortly entered English utilization, regardless of being difficult for native English-speakers to spell, pronounce or outline.
Zeitenwende is a kind of compound nouns that adorn the German language like baubles on a Christmas tree — also referred to as Weihnachtsbaum, which is itself a three-part compound noun. Different examples embrace Schadenfreude (malicious pleasure in others’ misfortune) and Zahnfleischbluten (bleeding gums).
A compound noun fuses two or extra separate phrases to make a brand new, longer one: Weihe means consecration, Nacht means evening, Weihnachten means Christmas and Baum means tree. Typically a compound noun can develop into a bit indigestible, as with Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeit (meals intolerance).
Zeitenwende combines Zeit, the phrase for time, period or interval, with Wende, a phrase that means change. Wende has a particular resonance for Germans, as it’s the phrase used to explain the peaceable, democratic revolution of 1989 within the former communist East Germany that led the subsequent yr to German reunification.
How far will the Zeitenwende change German insurance policies over the subsequent few years? Maybe solely Scholz, the Bundeskanzler (federal chancellor), is aware of the reply.