Moe Moe Genghis Khan ~ Eurasiavision Song Context

Via RNKxBOA, Berryz Koubou Dschinghis Khan TartarMix and Dschinghis Khan (subbed)

Berryz Koubou ~ 「Jingisukan」(「ジンギスカン」

“Dschinghis Khan” Song

Let’s get more vodka (Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho)
Because we are Mongols (Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha)
And the devil gets us soon enough!

Lasst noch Wodka holen (Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho)
Denn wir sind Mongolen (Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha)
Und der Teufel kriegt uns früh genug!

As the name suggests, “Dschinghis Khan” 1979 song is in praise of the titular Mongol warrior, Genghis Khan, with verses extolling his military (“And about his enemies he only laughed/Because nobody could resist his strength”) and sexual (“And each woman, that he liked/He took into his tent/They said, a woman who did not love him/Did not exist anywhere in the world/He fathered seven children in one night”) prowess.

“Dschinghis Khan” Berryz Koubou version

If you hit, attack;
ambush and destroy
Uh Ha Uh Ha
Don’t withdraw after that, assaulting Genghis Khan
Uh Ha Uh Ha

ウッハ ウッハ
あとにはひかない 突撃ジンギスカン
ウッハ ウッハ

Japanese idol unit Berryz Kobou has also released a cover of the song, albeit with toned-down lyrics, which do not make mention to the more explicit details (???) pertaining to war, rape or the consumption of alcoholic beverages found in the 1979 original.

The Real Genghis Khan of “Dschinghis Khan”

Dschinghis Khan (“Genghis Khan”) was the West German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, performed in German by Dschinghis Khan. The song was written and composed by the prolific duo of Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger, and owes a considerable debt to disco music, specifically of the Boney M tradition. Siegel is one of the most notable figures at the Eurovision Song Contest, in which he has participated with 19 songs so far. He was put into the spotlight in face of the contract scandal he made for the two artists Sophie & Magaly. It was revealed that Siegel gave only 5000 Euros to each of the sisters, although more than one million records were sold. Unfortunately their follow-up singles “Toi” and “Les nanas de Zorro” were equally unsuccessful and shortly thereafter the group disbanded. In the late 1980s Magaly contracted HIV and died of AIDS in April 1996. Sophie suffers from high depressive syndrome.

Karl Wittfogel, Cold War and the Anti-Russian view of Genghis Khan

Karl August Wittfogel (1896-1988) was a German-American marxist playwright, historian, and sinologist. In 1918, he set up the Lüneburg local of the radical Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD). In 1920, he joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). Wittfogel met German Marxist theorist and member of Fabian Society Karl Korsch in 1920 and was invited to the 1923 conference that helped establish the Institute for Social Research of the marxist Frankfurt School and from 1925 to 1933 was a member of the Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the Frankfurter Universität in 1928.

After 1934, he left Germany for England and then the United States. Wittfogel’s belief in the Soviet Union was destroyed with the Hitler-Stalin alliance, and he began to hate the totalitarian, “asiatic” nature of Russian and Chinese Communism from Lenin to Mao. He turned against his old comrades and denounced some of them, as well as American scholars such as Owen Lattimore, at the McCarran Committee hearings in 1951. He came to believe that the state-owned economies of the Soviet bloc inevitably led to despotic governments even more oppressive than those of “traditional Asia” and that those regimes were the greatest threat to the future of all mankind.

Those who hold an anti-Eurasian, anti-Russian nationalist position do not accept the beneficial role of Russia in regard to the history of Inner Eurasia. They can be divided into three groups : Despotists, Tatarists and Bulgarists.

The Despostists argue for a negative impact of Mongol influence in contributing to, even creating, the despotism of Russia autocracy. The most prominent non-Marxist use of the concept of Oriental Despotism has been by Karl Wittfogel. He asserted that “Tatar rule alone among the three major Oriental influences affecting Russia was decisive… in laying the foundations for the despotic state of Muscovite and post-Muscovite Russia”. Wittfogel asserted that the “oriental despotism” the Mongols introduced into Muscovy came from China via the Mongols.

Tatarists reject the notion of the Eurasianists and neo-Eurasianists that Russia had a special role in Inner Eurasia. According to the Tatarists, the Tatars were the real leaders of the Qipchaq Khanate, which represented the transformation of the western steppe peoples into a Tatar ethnic identity. For the Tatarists, the Qipchaq Khanate was a major empire, in it own right, that had significant impact on both Asia and Europe. In the early twentieth century, the Tatarists questioned whether they should accept the name Tatar precisely because it was associated with the notion of the “Tatar yoke”. One of the ways this group has challenged the Russian nationalist view is through a letter sent in April 2001 from the president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, asking him to cancel the annual celebration of the Battle of Kulikovo.

The Bulgarists, in constrast, accept the idea of “Tatar yoke” under which the Muslim Volga Bulgars suffered as well as the Christian Russians. The notion that Orientalism [in Edward Said’s sense of Europeans’ feeling of superiority toward non-Europeans] represents Russian nationalist views is characteristic of Tatar and Bulgar treatments. Neither the Tatarist nor the Bulgarist position has yet attained the stature of a full-pleged paradigm, but may represent a separate paradigm in the making.

Abbott Gleason, A companion to Russia, 2009 , p78-79

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