German Language Blog

Black Lives Matter In Germany Posted by on Jun 10, 2020 in Language

Guten Tag! All around the world there have been Black Lives Matter protests in response to the murder of George Floyd by a US police officer on 25th May. Germany is no exception, having recently held protests in many of its major cities, including Berlin, München, Hamburg and Frankfurt. In this post, I will share some vocabulary, phrases and news related to the protests, and share a German news video you can watch and listen to.


Nein zu Rassismus. Image via Pixabay.


The majority of signs at the protests were written in English, though some were in German. This is how you’d say some of the most commonly used phrases at the protests, in German:

(Sag) nein zu Rassismus – (Say) no to racism

Deutschland, du bist nicht unschuldig – Germany, you are not innocent/not without blame

Schwarze Leben zählen – Black lives matter

Ich kann nicht atmen – I can’t breathe


Related vocabulary

Respect! No place for racism. Image via Pixabay.

Racism – der Rassismus
Police – die Polizei
Protest – der Protest
to protest – protestieren
Demonstration – die Demonstration (often shortened to ‘Demo’)
Demonstrator/protester – der Demonstrant (male/general), die Demonstrantin (female), die Demonstranten (plural)
Placard – das Plakat
To arrest – festnehmen
Arrest (noun) – die Festnahme
Mass protest – der Massenprotest (plural: die Massenproteste)
Police violence – die Polizeigewalt
Murder – der Mord
Death – der Tod
Justice – die Gerechtigkeit
Solidarity – die Solidarität


Here is a short news video about the protests, by German news channel Taggeschau. See how many words and phrases you can recognise in it.



Related news:

In Hamburg, police intervened after just 30 minutes, saying that protesters were not following rules in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, such as observing der Mindestabstand (minimum distance away from each other, aka. social distancing), and wearing der Mundschutz (a face mask/covering).


On 4th June Berlin became the first German state to pass its own anti-discrimination law. This law enables people to claim compensation (die Vergütung) if they have been unfairly discriminated against, or racially profiled by, the police.


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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.