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U.S. Performs Nazi-Era Version of German National Anthem At Fed Cup

US Tennis Association president Katrina Adams apologized to Rittner in person and said that the USTA would investigate the cause of the incident.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Feb 12 2017, 6:05pm

It's not exactly clear how a Nazi-era version of the German anthem made its way to center court at the Fed Cup in Hawaii, but it was certainly not welcome. The U.S. were playing Germany, and tasked a local school teacher and opera singer with performing the German national anthem. Except he sang an older first verse that has been removed from the anthem since WWII that goes, "Germany, Germany above all / above all in the world."

German tennis player Andrea Petkovic was distraught by the outdated version of the anthem and later told Agence France-Presse, "I have never felt so disrespected in my life, it was an absolute effrontery and insolence, of the very worst kind," adding, ""We're in 2017—something like this should not happen in America. It is embarrassing and smacks of ignorance."

Since the fall of Nazi Germany, the national anthem consists only of the third stanza, which more inclusively reads, "einigkeit und recht und freiheit," meaning "unity and justice and freedom."

Members of the German team were in tears, and Germany's team boss Barbara Rittner said she almost snatched the mic out of the singer's hands. "I could have cried," Rittner said, "because it is always a special moment, which gives you goosebumps, when you hear the anthem being played. What happened here hits us hard." A visibly upset Petkovic later went on to lose her match.

The USTA responded with both an apology in a press release:

And one on Twitter, that the German Tennis association responded to tersely:

US Tennis Association president Katrina Adams apologized to Rittner in person and said that the USTA would investigate the cause of the incident.