Note: This theory makes the assumption that Germany was reincarnated from Holy Rome.
Those who have read the strips will know that a recurring theme is Germany’s love for Italian culture and history; he thinks of the nation as a sort of paradise.
What strikes a chord with me is this specific panel. Here, Germany has a revelation while vacationing in Italy. Basically, because Italy is such a paradise, he understands why Goethe wrote so many poems about the nation.
All right. I’ll point out the obvious first before delving down into the deeper meanings of all this. Both Holy Rome and Germany have a profound love for the Italian nation, which most people see as a link between the two.
What I’ll be proposing is that this reference to Goethe hints at something extremely significant about Germany’s personality and characterization. It strongly alludes to his possible reincarnation from Holy Rome as well.
Goethe is most known for his play “Faust”, whereby the demon Mephistopheles makes a wager with God. Mephistopheles claims that he will be able to succeed in “luring” God’s favourite human, Faust, away from his pursuit of knowledge of all kinds.
What’s important here is that Faust outgrows scientific, religious, and humanitarian-philosophical teachings, choosing instead to learn magic as it will provide him with “infinite knowledge.”
Sound familiar? It should, because we know that Germany is obsessed with science and data.
He’s also quick to deny the existence of the supernatural because it’s unscientific.
However, there are strips that paint a different picture, one that shows that just like Faust moved from the scientific to that which is otherworldly, Germany is too. There are brief moments where he drops the scientific method and reveals that he may in fact be aware of the supernatural.
It’s possible in canon for deceased nations and humans to fly down from heaven and visit Earth. A human example would be Quintillus, an old Roman Emperor.
Previous to this strip, Germany was collecting ancient records of Rome, and Quintillus visits to give a more favourable account of his older brother, Gothicus, who isn’t depicted favorably in textbooks. Initially, Germany dismisses Quintillus as playing pretend and escorts him home.
What happens next is surprising. Germany privately refers to Quintillus as a “Roman boy”, which to me, seems as if he recognizes that it truly was a Roman Emperor who had just visited him.
Pay attention to the shifting of Germany’s mentality; it doesn’t seem like science is upheld within him as strongly as it used to be.
Perhaps the most important instance of this is when Ancient Rome visits Germany. At first, Germany believes this visit to be a strange dream, but soon falls into the swing of things and starts asking questions.
This question in particular is critical.
Again, notice how uncomfortable Germany looks when he asks this. Disappearing, huh? Could this possibly be a reference to Holy Rome and his newest incarnate, ahem, himself? Just think about it: reincarnation is a supernatural and seemingly magical occurrence…
It’s one thing if Germany merely asked about why and how a nation dies, but the discomfort on his face is likely an indicator of a painful memory.
This isn’t that far of a stretch either. Remember that in Buon San Valentino, after embarrassing himself by clumsily proposing to Italy, Germany panics and blacks out.
It’s precisely when people are distressed that repressed memories resurface according to Freudian psychology, and that’s exactly what seems to be the case here. The strip ends with fuzzy memories of Chibitalia.
It appears that Germany’s belief in science is waning. Either that, or he’s resorted to using science as an explanation to deny the reality of his reincarnation.
And with that, comes the repression of memories.