It’s not exactly a secret that Germany has a pretty shitty past. As a country, Germany is like the guy who was wild as fuck during Uni, loved deep house music before it was cool and was also uncomfortably racist on a daily basis. Now, Germany has chilled out quite a bit, as if the same crazy guy from Uni moved to the suburbs, had a couple of kids and loves doing a bit of DIY in his stainless steel garage.
Although Germany may have moved away from its unsavory history, it’s still not really something to bring up when considering international relations. If Germany is the chilled out, green tea sipping, environmentally conscious suburb-dweller, then America is the arrogant as fuck neighbour who stays up until 2 am playing his drums and constantly reminds you that it’s “Hot out today.”
America’s international insensitivity has been on display for a while now, but a recent incident at a Fed-Cup tennis match in Hawaii stands out as being pretty damn bad. Before a Fed-Cup tie in Hawaii, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) made the mistake of playing the Nazi-era version of Germany’s national anthem. I know, yikes.
The version played includes the first stanza”Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt” which was used as Nazi propaganda. It translates to “Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world” and was dropped following World War Two due to its connection with Adolf Hitler.
The thing is, Germany’s national anthem was written in 1841 and only the third verse is now sung. This can lead to a bit of confusion and unfortunately, the male soloist tasked with singing the anthem must have got his verses mixed up.
Understandably, Germany was pretty pissed off. German tennis player Andrea Petkovic said, “I thought it was the epitome of ignorance, and I’ve never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup.” On top of that, German tennis federation chief Ulrich Klaus said: “The fact that in the year 2017 a wrong anthem can be played that is associated with the horror of the past was for players and staff and the officials present both shocking and disturbing.”
As expected, USTA apologised profusely both in person and in writing and according to Klaus they “Deeply regret the blunder.” To rub even more salt in the wound, the American team secured a 1-0 lead before bad weather prevented any further play. I’m not a particularly religious man, but that kind of sounds like a sign from the big man upstairs to maybe let the Germans win a game.
Image: The Dark Room