German tennis players slammed the US Tennis Association after it mistakenly played the Nazi-era version of their national anthem during a tournament this weekend.
The women's team looked visibly tense and upset as the soloist belted out the lines "Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world" before a Fed Cup match in Hawaii.
“Deutschlandlied” was written in 1841, about 100 years before Adolf Hitler’s party came to power. But the Nazis adopted that first verse and used it as propaganda.
While the song is still listed as Germany's official anthem, that particular verse was dropped after World War II and only the third verse is used.
"I thought it was the epitome of ignorance, and I've never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup," Germany's Andrea Petkovic said after the match. "We were left shocked and did not know how to react.”
In a statement, German tennis federation chief Ulrich Klaus said the experience was "shocking and disturbing" for his players, staff, and officials.
"Our American hosts at the Fed Cup opening in Hawaii made a mistake that should not happen," he said.
During the tense performance, the German players started singing over him with the correct verse.
Stunned members in the crowd also stood holding the German flag.
But some fans joined the players in an effort to drown out the opera singer.
The USTA later apologized for the mistake, saying “in no way did we mean any disrespect."
This kid's face about sums it up. 😬
Brianna Sacks is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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