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German Tennis Players Were Outraged After A Nazi-Era National Anthem Played At A US Tournament

"I've never felt more disrespected in my whole life."

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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.

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“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.

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The USTA later apologized for the mistake, saying “in no way did we mean any disrespect."

The USTA extends a sincere apology to the German Fed Cup team & fans 4 the outdated National Anthem. This mistake w… https://t.co/mcNg4emDFV

Brianna Sacks is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Brianna Sacks at brianna.sacks@buzzfeed.com.

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