Just before the Federation Cup tennis match played between the US and Germany in Hawaii, the version of the German national anthem associated with the Nazis was sung, instead of the current version.
A male soloist at the match on the Hawaiian island of Maui sang the verse beginning with the lines “Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt”, which translates as “Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world”.
Although the words were written long before the Nazis ruled Germany, they became closely identified with Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich in the period before and during the second world war.
The offending verse, which traditionally began the anthem, is now considered anachronistic.
The third verse of the 19th century Deutschlandlied, the words of which were written in 1841, is the only one performed in modern-day Germany and is officially classed as the national anthem.
German players and fans present at the occasion quickly realized the blunder and responded by trying to sing the correct version but of course could not drown out the amplified Nazi-associated version. Here’s video of the event.
The German team member Andrea Petkovic was disturbed by Saturday’s performance, saying on the German federation’s website: “It was the worst experience that has ever happened to me – horrifying and shocking.”
She added, according to Bild: “This is the year 2017 – that something like this happens in America, it can’t happen. It’s embarrassing and speaks of ignorance.”
Welcome to America, Andrea. I am sorry that you were discomfited but you have to remember that ignorance of history, not to mention lack of sensitivity to the people of other nations, is kind of our thing.