The German canoeing team was 'appalled' after organizers at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary played the 'Nazi anthem' - banned in Germany - at a medal ceremony.
Nazi Anthem Played During Hungarian Medal Ceremony
German gold medalists Anne Knorr and Debora Nich were clearly unsure what to do when the 'Nazi Anthem' was played at their medal ceremony.
Gabe Kahn., 23/08/11 00:30
Anne Knorr, Deborah Nich
Anne Knorr and Debora Nich won gold for Germany in the 1000 meters K2 women's final race but after receiving their medals they were clearly uncomfortable on the podium as the German anthem was played with the verse "Deutschland, Deutschland Uber alles / Uber alles in der Welt" ("Germany, Germany above all / Above everything in the world.")
The music for the German national anthem was composed in 1797 by Joseph Haydn with lyrics written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841.
The verse beginning "Deutschland, Deutschland Uber alles" is the first stanza of the piece, but was banned in 1952 as those were the lyrics adopted by the Nazis when singing the anthem.
Since then it is the third stanza that has been used which begins with "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit / Fur das deutsche Vaterland!" (Unity and justice and freedom / For the German fatherland!)
"I am appalled. We cannot accept it," German national coach Rainer Kiessler said in a television interview after the event.
Kiessler added Hungarian organizers refused to let him verify the anthem before playing it due to a "technical problem."
German forces occupied Hungary during World War II in 1944 after Adolf Hitler discovered the country had engaged in secret peace negotiations with the United States and the United Kingdom, despite having been a member of the Axis powers that fought against the Allies.
While officials claimed the error was merely a gaffe, some observers note Hungary, which recently squeezed a far-right anti-Semitic party out of the government, has been trying with limited success to fight reactionary elements within the country.