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Rammstein, Nazi Aesthetic, and Controversies: An Analysis

Part 1: Responses

The German band Rammstein has often been accused of using Nazi aesthetics and messages in their images, lyrics, music, and concerts. Some have argued that not a small number of Rammstein’s lyrics and images can be connected to Hitler’s Third Reich. The band has consistently denied the associations, arguing that, in some cases, their intent has been to send left wing messages. They have also maintained that they have been unfairly criticized because they are German. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek maintains that Rammstein does embody the Nazi Aesthetic but that they allow people to experience it without Nazism’s ideological elements. Zizek states: “This shows us how Nazism works, and undermines its claim that our emotions are stirred by its greater cause or anything like that; they can be stirred up this way for anything, even for a New German Hard band like Rammstein. For Žižek then, ‘the way to fight Nazism is to enjoy these elements […] suspending the Nazi horizon of meaning and undermining Nazism from within.’”

What do you think? This assignment has three parts

Part 1: Responses 

Examine the Short Documentary ‘Rammstein – Stripped (Official Making Of)’, which is featured in the article by Laura Doing

For their cover of the Depeche Mode song “Stripped”, Rammstein used footage from the film Olympia by Leni Riefenstahl. Address the following questions in your own words. For the sake of clarity and simplicity, copy the numbered questions and write your answer under each question.

1) Why was using this footage controversial? 
2) What is the band’s reasoning for using Riefenstahl’s footage in their video?
3) What is your reaction? Do you think they were naïve or trying to be provocative or might there be more to their use of this footage than they are admitting? Why or why not?

Rammstein – Stripped (Official Making Of)

“Stripped” – Full Video (Leni Riefenstahl footage)

Part 2: Further Analysis

Examine one of the songs and/or videos listed below. As with the video for ‘Stripped’, critics have argued that these song/videos connect Rammstein to the Far Right and German Nazism in particular. Choose one of the videos and address the following questions

1) Why would some connect Rammstein to the Far Right and/or Nazism in your chosen video? Be very specific in your descriptions of images and put the time in the footnotes. Also, be sure to quote any lyrics that you refer to and footnote them.

2) Do you think the criticism is valid? Explain. 

If you are struggling, you can search for critics of the song. *Remember, if you use outside sources, you need to provide footnotes. 

To save time, the links to the official videos mentioned in the article are listed here:

Links 2,3,4”


Mein Land” (Lyrics only)

Heirate Mich & Du Hast” (live)


There are other possible songs to analyze. If you have a particular song in mind, let me know.

Part 3: Response (200-300 words)

Based on your analysis, is Rammstein dangerous, misunderstood, and/or is it ‘only rock and roll?’ Explain your answer in a response using at least three references (with footnotes) to Rammstein lyrics, official videos, live concert footage, or literature published about the band to support your point.


All sources must be referenced using Chicago Style. As always, academic dishonesty rules apply. Do your own work and footnote sources you use and don’t forget to include a bibliography at the end for all your sources.

Rammstein is not for everyone. Remember, there are three options for the Second Half Assignment. 

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