I came across the following paragraph in Der Spiegel:

Eine der wichtigsten Fragen ist, wie [Donald] Trump nun mit seiner Partei umgeht. Die Republikaner sind traumatisiert, die alte Garde fühlt sich gedemütigt. Nach Ted Cruz hat jetzt auch noch John Kasich, der letzte Rivale, aufgegeben. Trump scheint nicht sich in der Bringschuld zu sehen, sondern seine Gegner. "Ich glaube, ich kann viele in der Partei vereinen", sagt er. "Aber einige will ich auch gar nicht."

Some of the translations of the word der Bringschuld in the dictionaries are:

[debt to be delivered to the creditor]; obligation to provide; debt to be discharged at creditor's domicile

These, however, do not seem to be helpful in understanding the meaning of the phrase.

2 Answers 2


"Bringschuld" can also be used to determine who is obliged to take initiative - In your example, this would be the intended meaning (It is, however, quite a bit arguable whether this was indeed the right choice of words)

Trump sees himself not obliged to do the first steps to re-unite the Republican party, but rather sees that with his opponents.


In the stricter sense, it actually means, that the party with the Bringschuld is obliged to do something, e. g. deliver a payment. In the next step this generalized to other subjects as well, for instance information. In your example it was blurred further to simply indicate, who has to take initiative next. So the nearest English counterpiece of Du hast die Bringschuld I can think of is

The ball is in your park.

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