GsdS, the Society for German Language, has chosen “Zeitenwende” (“turning point”). used by Chancellor Scholz to refer to Russia’s war against Ukraine, as the word of the year 2022.
“The by no means new word, which stands specifically for the beginning of the Christian era, and in a more general sense also for any transition into a new era, was prominently used in this second sense by Chancellor Scholz. The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, marked a ‘turning point in the history of our continent,’ he said.
In the same context, German President Steinmeier spoke of an ‘epochal break.’ German economic and energy policy had to completely reorient itself. Relationships with other international partners such as China were also critically examined.
For many people, an emotional turnaround also took place. Fear and concern about a nuclear war in Europe, even a third world war, were felt in many places,” the society wrote.
In second place was Krieg um Frieden, “the seemingly nonsensical expression war for peace,” which also refers to the Russia-Ukraine war.
“For Moscow’s propaganda, this is a special military operation; for many, especially in NATO, it is simply a war of aggression. Even in political parties with a pacifist tradition, the view spread that Ukraine must be supported with weapons in order to defend its state integrity and later achieve lasting peace in Eastern Europe,” the society wrote.