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Fatherland is the land of one’s “fathers”, “forefathers” or “ancestors”. It can be viewed as an ethnic/racial nationalist concept, if it refers to an area associated with an ethnic/racial group, such as a nation state.

The term “fatherland” refers to an anthropomorphized conception of certain lands. “Motherland” is another common, similar term. “Fatherland” is a translation of Latin “patria” (from “pater”, meaning “father”) and is related to terms such as patriotism. Such terms are, at least in their original meanings, examples of ethnic/racial groups loyalties often being compared to loyalties to relatives, which may be related to genetic similarities. See the article on Racial genetic interests, in particular the section Racial genetic interests: Ethnicity and territory.

Prior to World War II, such terms were used throughout the world and often with positive connotations, reflecting positive views on nationalism. For example, Wien Neêrlands Bloed, national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, makes extensive and conspicuous use of the parallel Dutch word.

More recently, such terms have become less common and are often viewed more negatively in many countries, due to increasing political correctness.


Groups that refer to their native country as a “fatherland” (or rather, the most corresponding term to the English word in their languages), or, arguably, associate it primarily with paternal concepts include:

the Afrikaners as Vaderland

the Danes as fædreland

the Estonians as isamaa (as in the national anthem Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm)

the Finns as isänmaa

the Frisians as heitelân

the Germans, as Vaterland (as in the national anthem Das Lied der Deutschen)

the Icelanders as föðurland literally meaning “land of the father” (Denmark)

the Irish as Athartha.

the Dutch, as vaderland

the Norwegians as fedreland (Denmark)

the Welsh as the land of my fathers (Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau) .

the Swedes as fäderneslandet, although fosterlandet is more common (meaning the land that fostered/raised a person) (Denmark)

the Tibetans as pha yul (ཕ་ཡུལ་)

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Germanic People

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