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Thread: What Defines Germanicity?

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    What Defines Germanicity?

    There's something that's been troubling me a bit lately, and I'm hoping that many of you will have some helpful ideas on the topic.

    What is it that defines Germanicity? Skadi's tripartite mission is the preservation of Germanicity culturally, racially, and spiritually. By that tripartite division, I know I can be classified as Germanic racially, and I am quite confident that I can also be classified as Germanic culturally, but spiritually I think I might have to be classified as Semitic (though I am not certain about that by any means — after all, "he came unto his own, and his own received him not"). I don't feel any less Germanic for being a Christian — indeed, Germanic people have shaped Christianity as I practice it for many centuries. But in terms of these three areas, I am only 2/3 Germanic (assuming equal weighting for each of the three).

    I have a friend who has recently been classified as Nordid (not Halstatt Nordic, but still Nordid in general terms), but she is Ukranian and considers herself Slavic. I personally think of the Nordid races as being core Germanic races — other races are definitely Germanic too (Alpinid comes strongly to mind), but Nordid phenotypes seem to me to be less common among non-Germanic folk than any other class of phenotypes. So, I would consider my friend to be racially Germanic. She is probably culturally Slavic and, as a Christian, spiritually Semitic (maybe). Is she Germanic? Not by self-identification, of course; but she could still be (peripherally) Germanic it seems to me.

    It often seems like we have in the back of our minds a sense of Germanicity being tied to language. I speak English natively, as have most of my ancestors for fifteen hundred years, so I am Germanic. But I have friends from Argentina with very German surnames who look very German and try to preserve their German cultural heritage but who speak only Spanish natively. Are they not Germanic, simply because of linguistic Romanization?

    For that matter, what about northern France. When I travel abroad, I feel more at home in some places than in others — the places where I feel culturally at home are places like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and northern France. Southern France feels like Spain or Italy to me (which all feel remarkably like Mexico in my opinion), and very unlike home. In a place like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or northern France, people act like I expect people to act, they move like I expect them to move, they look at me like I expect them to look at me. In the south (or in Mexico), they don't. Poland seems to me to be about half and half (some seem like my kind, others do not). This gives me the feeling that northern France is largely culturally Germanic, despite their linguistic Romanization. Maybe my ability to accept linguistic Romanization is just due to my being a native speaker of English (although I've studied German and Norwegian as well, and in many ways they are also quite Romanized — in fact, in some areas they are more Romanized than English). But it seems to me that the northern French are racially and culturally Germanic, just as I am.

    I find it very interesting that no one ever questions the Germanicity of the German people (probably simply because they retain the Latin name given to describe us all), yet many of them are racially indistinguishable from many non-Germanic types (unlike Scandinavians or the English), spiritually most of them are either Semitic or dead (just like the Scandinavians and the English), culturally they are often the closest of the Germanic peoples to Romance or Slavic folk, and linguistically they often suffer the most influence from Romance languages (except, perhaps, for the English — though I am not fully convinced of that in matters beyond the lexicon).

    Consider some hypothetical cases as well. Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria. Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry. Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods. Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.

    Sadly, I am afraid that nothing more than a very ad hoc methodology for determining Germanicity can be attained. But if not, then what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?

    Some interesting threads related to this topic:
    Last edited by Leofric; Thursday, December 15th, 2005 at 12:25 AM.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric

    She is probably culturally Slavic and, as a Christian, spiritually Semitic (maybe). Is she Germanic? Not by self-identification, of course; but she could still be (peripherally) Germanic it seems to me.


    Sorry, man, you don't make any sense here.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Nordic looking Slavs aren't Germanic. They're Slavic.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    It would seem that the two of you are a little distracted from the question by the example, perhaps due to discussion on another thread.

    Please substitute the following hypothetical example:
    A large extended family — maybe an entire kindred — from southern Sweden (assume that when they were in Sweden, they were Germanic) moved to China in the 12th century, for whatever reason. They stayed there in China and adopted Chinese culture, language, and religion. They tried to maintain endogamous relationships within their community, and were mostly successful. A bit of admixture has definitely occurred over the centuries, and has even spread to affect most of the descendants of the kindred, but still to this day there can be found individuals who are racially indentical to the original immigrants. Nevertheless, they are all Chinese citizens, all monolingual speakers of some Chinese language, all fully integrated into Chinese culture. Are these people Germanic?
    Please note that I am not trying to say that this example is equivalent to the one it is meant to replace. I only want an example where race has been maintained but culture, language, and religion have been obliterated. If the former example failed to offer that, then I think this one, at least, will.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    The racial spectrum is Nordid at the centre and nothing beyond a general European. That doesn't mean anyone who falls within this spectrum is Germanic, but it does mean anyone within this spectrum is racially assimable (in greater numbers the closer to the core), imho.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    It often seems like we have in the back of our minds a sense of Germanicity being tied to language. I speak English natively, as have most of my ancestors for fifteen hundred years, so I am Germanic. But I have friends from Argentina with very German surnames who look very German and try to preserve their German cultural heritage but who speak only Spanish natively. Are they not Germanic, simply because of linguistic Romanization?
    I'll be blunt and say that indeed has made them less Germanic, as it means part of their culture has been eradicated. However, since they can trace their ancestry to the Germanic nations, are racially within range, and actively try to preserve their heritage, they are very assimable - bordering on already being assimilated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Consider some hypothetical cases as well. Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria.
    Ethnically not Germanic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry.
    Ancestry is Germanic, Roman Catholicism does not in itself disqualify one, race is within range, apparently identifies with the English folk. Based on this little information and under the assumption he knows how to speak English, I'll accept him as Germanic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.
    Ethnic blend. Might be assimable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.
    She's Germanic, but I'm not so fond of her choice of religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Sadly, I am afraid that nothing more than a very ad hoc methodology for determining Germanicity can be attained. But if not, then what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?
    It's a gradient. Germanic is a useful concept, imho, precisely because it implies a collection of racial, cultural, spiritual and linguistic ranges. That makes it politically more viable and honest than the 'White' concept, provided the common Germanic folk here in Europe can overcome the negative associations with the term.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Well I didn't really mean to offend anyone, at least not to the extent that I seem to have done so. I apologize for any rancor I may have caused.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried
    It's a gradient. Germanic is a useful concept, imho, precisely because it implies a collection of racial, cultural, spiritual and linguistic ranges. That makes it politically more viable and honest than the 'White' concept, provided the common Germanic folk here in Europe can overcome the negative associations with the term.
    I completely agree that Germanic is a useful concept, and of course it's eminently more useful than 'White.'

    I also think you're right in terms of its being a gradient. In the linguistic study of semantics, among a slew of other theories, exist two rather well-credited ones that I think might shed light on this discussion.

    The first has to do with semantic features. It holds that the meaning of any word can be broken down into a list of potential qualities in which that word might participate and a description of whether that word participates therein. So for example, man can be defined as [+human] [+adult] [+male]; boy would be [+human] [-adult] [+male]; woman would be [+human] [+adult] [-male]; and something like mare would be [+equine] [+adult] [-male]. This theory works really well with terms like these that I have presented, but it fails to distinguish between certain other terms, such as, for example, boot and shoe.

    For explaining pairs like boot and shoe properly, the theory of prototypal semantics is much more useful. It holds that one has in one's mind a prototype for a given concept, that the likelihood of a given thing being labelled consistently with a given prototype is negatively proportional to its deviance from that prototype, and that in the gray areas that are roughly equidistant from neighboring prototypes there exists a great deal of variance in a community in the term applied to a given thing. So a loafer is a shoe to everyone and a cowboy boot is always a boot, but something in between might be a shoe to one person and a boot to another — or it might even be a shoe to a given person at one time or in one context and a boot at some other time or in some other context.

    I think that defining Germanicity requires a prototypal model. I think we have a sense of the Germanic prototype (although I certainly wouldn't want to try to define that prototype) and we sense that as things deviate from the prototype they become less and less Germanic. My question is geared toward trying to find the boundaries of Germanicity, the points at which one ceases to be Germanic and becomes something else.

    Now trying to define semantic boundaries in a prototypal model is something like writing an essay on a sand dune, with your pinky finger, in a stiff breeze. But it can be done. One method is to test a large sample's reaction to various things in the real world. As regards Germanicity, you might present cases as I have done (only including cases that are closer to the prototype and further from the prototype rather than merely around the boundary region) to a large sample and ask each participant whether the person in a given case is or is not Germanic. Each case is then classified according to the vote of the majority. Assuming a representative sample, this will tell you the boundaries of Germanicity according to a given population. That's kind of what I'm after, in an informal sense.

    Siegfried, I find it interesting that you seem to focus on assimilability throughout your answer. I am inclined to feel the same way. It's almost like I am uncomfortable with being unable to decide the proper prototype for a given thing and want to move it closer to one of the two prototypal options — I'm certainly not trying to imply that's how you feel about it, just exaplining my feelings that produce a similar effect. Furthermore, I tend to agree with all of your assessments of these cases (although I wonder what you would feel in the unlikely event that the fellow from Jersey speak no English, but only Jerriais). What do you make of the case of the medieval Swedish kindred transplanted to China (admittedly silly in terms of real life, but perhaps no more so than the Hafronska-speaking Nigerian)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried
    The racial spectrum is Nordid at the centre and nothing beyond a general European. That doesn't mean anyone who falls within this spectrum is Germanic, but it does mean anyone within this spectrum is racially assimable (in greater numbers the closer to the core), imho.
    Thank you for expressing this much better than I was able to. This is mainly what I was driving at in my discussion of my Slavic friend. My only addition to what you have said here is to wonder whether they might not also be culturally assimilable — and before anyone yells at me for that, let me remind everyone that I simply wonder — if you think I'm wrong, a calm and well-reasoned response informing me of that will suffice.



    Thiuda, about the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Thiuda
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric
    Southern France feels like Spain or Italy to me (which all feel remarkably like Mexico in my opinion

    Nonsense.
    It really does feel that way to me when I go there. I understand that you do not feel the same way (I'm not precisely certain why, since you haven't explained your displeasure in detail). I am perfectly fine with the two of us feeling differently in the same places. But it is true that I feel what I have claimed to feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiuda
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric

    Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.

    Halfbreed?
    I have no idea why my use of this word should cause a problem. Compare with Adlai Stevenson's use of it:
    I'm a half-breed myself. My father was from an old, staunch Democratic family, and he was a Presbyterian. My mother was from an equally old and staunch Republican family and she was a Unitarian.
    If such small differences between parents as political and religious beliefs can suffice to make someone a halfbreed, then surely ethnic differences will do so — and I don't think anyone can honestly say that there are no ethnic differences between Icelanders and Sicilians.

    It seems you might attach some sort of pejorative connotation to the term halfbreed. I do not. I believe one should be proud of who and what he is, whatever he is. I believe that a person who is half Nigerian and half English, for example, should be equally proud of his Nigerian and English ancestry and should strive to preserve and honor both his Nigerian and his English heritage. That is why I personally support Germanic preservation — it is my heritage and I feel it is my duty (and my pleasure) to work to preserve it. I didn't mean to express anything pejorative whatsoever about the hypothetical case of a person who is half Icelandic and half Sicilian, and I am quite sorry if you thought otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiuda
    You claim to travel regularly in the old continent. But i don't believe that shit.
    I am relieved that you do not believe falsehoods about me, which falsehoods a hold in similar disdain.

    I have never claimed this. Were I to claim it, it would be untrue. There is nothing regular about the rate at which I travel in Europe. Furthermore, my travel in Europe has never been frequent (which is probably more what you meant). I only said that when I do travel in Europe, I feel the way I have described. It was merely one person's perception of a set of experiences he has had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiuda
    Your statements are both annoynig and just plain stupid.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I have often felt that your statements have tended to be rather intelligent and insightful, so it pains me to learn that someone like you, whose thoughts I respect, feels as you do about mine.

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    The theme of Skadi forum is Germanic cultural, racial and spiritual preservation and Germanicity is cenrtal to this theme and therefore must be asked. Of course we are all going to have our own ideas on what is and is not Germanic since Germanic is a generic term that includes a broad range of fields.

    There should be no reason why anyone should be offended by the question.

    Since the Germanic concept is broad then there is no "pure", "right" or "only" definition of Germanic. Nor is it like a linear spectrum with Germanic at one end and non Germanic at the other.
    Also it is a living concept that evolves in time but with a basis on what was before.
    Language is important. However languages can be learnt by anyone, can be forgotton or replaced and can be remembered as well.
    Linguistics is a major defining field in defining Germanic, however it should and must be as a native or ancestral language and not an adopted one.
    This is why i have a problem with francophones of Germanic heritage. It reminds me of Black English speakers. Surely if your culture and heritage is Germanic then your ancestral language is Germanic and not Romanic. Please note im not blaming French speakers of Germanic heritage who have had there ancestral language forced out of them.

    Also like Leofric has said previously about his journeys in Europe, i have noticed something similar, and which is starkingly obvious in Belgium. leofric said it was the way people moved and acted. I find the work ethics among Northern Europeans and Germanic folks to be similar and in contrast to Southern Europeans. Maybe its just the weather

    Germanic should also be a postive definition.
    Alot of folk may say they hate blacks, jews, Slavs, Turks, Italians etc, basing there definition of Germanic on what they are not rather than what they are. This is negative and wrong.
    And to further this postive connotation, Germanic is what you love about it, and therefore want to not only preserve in Germanic culture, race and spirit but also to promote and revive in Germanic culture, Germanic race and Germanic spirit.

    I would also like to say congratulations to Leofric on becoming a moderator. A wise decision i must say on the part of the mods and admins.
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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    There's something that's been troubling me a bit lately, and I'm hoping that many of you will have some helpful ideas on the topic.

    What is it that defines Germanicity? Skadi's tripartite mission is the preservation of Germanicity culturally, racially, and spiritually. By that tripartite division, I know I can be classified as Germanic racially, and I am quite confident that I can also be classified as Germanic culturally, but spiritually I think I might have to be classified as Semitic (though I am not certain about that by any means — after all, "he came unto his own, and his own received him not"). I don't feel any less Germanic for being a Christian — indeed, Germanic people have shaped Christianity as I practice it for many centuries. But in terms of these three areas, I am only 2/3 Germanic (assuming equal weighting for each of the three).
    Great question, it forces one to think. To me the Germanics are like an extended family, with a common ancestry and history. This makes the racial aspect important, even though I am aware that various other bloodlines have been assimilated into "Germanicdom" through history. Mostly European bloodlines, but also Roma, Jews and Lapps (individual bloodlines, not the whole groups, I might add).

    Also the cultural aspect is important. Germanicity is a shared history, habitus, and experience. Thus, a Nordic slav (for example a slavicized german bloodline) is racially assimilable, but it is not presently a Germanic. And a person who shares Germanic culture but is not of Germanic racial stock is not at present a Germanic either (even though the bloodline might be assimilated in the future. In Sweden I guess that is realistically what will happen with our many adoptees). Language is an important part of a culture.

    The same goes for spirituality. A certain spiritual outlook is central to Germanicity (what Spengler termed Faustian, and what Günther described as Indo-European). However, this outlook is the content, the name of the form is not as important, and Christianity can in many cases express it as well as paganism (and neo-paganism can be very non-Germanic as well). So I wouldn't agree that as a Christian you are necessarily of Semitic spiritual race.

    This creates an Idealtyp, a core of Germanicity. At this core, spiritual, biological and cultural race are Faustian, Germanic and "Nordish", and the language is Germanic. A clear border against non-Germanicity is harder to draw. At the end of the day, it will be up to us as individuals to set that border. As individuals or as collectivities.

    I might add that fides is important here as well. How does the person identify? Some people are objectively Germanic (when the language, the race, the culture and spirituality are all there), but in the case of the border-cases, self-identity and loyalty becomes important. Personally I tend to see the racial aspect as important (extended family) though, and have troubles accepting negroid germanics..

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    Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Christianity as a whole isn't 'Semitic' but 'Catholic', belonging to the 'Oecumene' (meaning civilization). Locally, there is such a thing as Semitic Christianity (Syriac/Chaldean churches, and the dead ends of the Ebionites). Within the Oecumene there have always been local churches with local theologies: so we have the Greek East, Slavic East, Caucasian East, Armenian East, etc. In the Latin West there has long been a division between North, South, and Gallican/Insular:

    -The Northern Catholic tradition (Germany, Scandinavia, Low Countries, Baltic) has been in disrepute for the last century because most of its members were Modernists, but also for the Old Catholics.

    -The Gallican/Insular churches much earlier not only for the Caesaropapist form of Gallicanism (Church subject to the State), but also for the loss of the Church of England (which is still struggling internally between Protestant and Catholic sides) and the pure form of Gallicanism (a Western manifestation of Orthodox ecclesiology which simply held to the Eastern Orthodox/Old Catholic position of the importance of local tradition, the Pope being subject to an Ecumenical Council, etc.)

    -The Southern or 'Mediterranean' tradition of Italy, Dalmatia, Austria, Provence, and most of Spain which has held the dominance: both with the Tridentine, and now Pauline rites.

    As such, the creation of a 'Semitic' modern Christianity in the theological colleges is an attempt to erase the memory of a Germanic, or Northern, Christianity: particularly with German Catholicism, German Old Catholicism, and German Lutheranism (which is far more 'Catholic' still than the French Calvinism.)

    But - to the main point: Germanicity is a tradition. I'd argue that the German State has it right when it speaks of being German as ethnicity, identity, and language - and also with reference to German education and culture.
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    Grin Re: What defines Germanicity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    But it seems to me that the northern French are racially and culturally Germanic, just as I am.
    That's cool, but they remain French.

    Btw, it seems you believe in a "Germanic race". You mean in the romantic way, right?

    Anyway, what do you call Northern France exactly? Picardie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais or what's north of the Loire river?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    I find it very interesting that no one ever questions the Germanicity of the German people (probably simply because they retain the Latin name given to describe us all),
    And probably because it's literally unquestionable. Maybe Combatent would, though...

    However, someone tried to demonstrate it; if I'm correct, I believe Gobinaud (or was it Chamberlain? No, Gobinaud.) wrote that Germans were not pure Germanics, this based on the fact that "schreiben" (sp?) (=to write) is of Latin origin and not Germanic. I know this theory is kind of weird, but that's what he wrote. Don't worry, finally, he changed his mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    yet many of them are racially indistinguishable from many non-Germanic types (unlike Scandinavians or the English),
    Do you think the Germanic mind is inseparable from a certain racial type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    culturally they are often the closest of the Germanic peoples to Romance or Slavic folk, and linguistically they often suffer the most influence from Romance languages
    Find me a Germanic people without any Romance influence. Or better, just find me a people without any subtantial alien influence. Hmmm, maybe Pygmies or Papuans, if that!

    You seem to agree anyway :
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    (although I've studied German and Norwegian as well, and in many ways they are also quite Romanized — in fact, in some areas they are more Romanized than English).
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    (except, perhaps, for the English — though I am not fully convinced of that in matters beyond the lexicon).
    It's pretty obvious though. Isn't there a concensus among linguists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria.
    Maybe he would fit in an attraction park, nowhere else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry.
    He can't be of "pure" Norman breed. There's no such thing in Jersey. Where do you think the natives went when the Norman established there? Vanished in thin air?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.
    Well, I bet if this person is an attractive girl, she would pass the test. On the contrary case, he/she would be dismissed because of his/her "tainted blood".

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.
    "Whiggerism" -> High treason

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    [...] what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?
    Yes, you put it right. It is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors.

    Quote Originally Posted by sceagecros
    No offense intended and Maybe it's an American thing- but I feel the exact same way, about the exact same areas of europe feeling like mexico.I will admit my european travels have been few and far between ...
    Bah, no offense. You just confirm a thought many Europeans had in mind for long. It's an American thing. Which discredits you anyway. "Caramba!"
    Last edited by Siegfried; Monday, December 19th, 2005 at 06:51 PM.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.

    « -Oh my God, but you're a neo-nazi?!...
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