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February 12, 2017 4:11 pm

US Tennis Association Apologizes for Playing Third Reich Version of National Anthem Ahead of Match With German Player at Major Tournament

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Adolf Hitler (leader of Nazi Germany, also known as the Third Reich) giving a Nazi salute. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) apologized on Saturday for playing the national anthem of the Third Reich at a major women’s tournament ahead of a match in which Germany was competing.

“This mistake will not occur again,” the USTA tweeted about the unfortunate blooper it made during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Fed Cup, held this year in Hawaii. Rather than playing the version of  the 1841 song “Deutschlandlied” — Germany’s national anthem since 1922 — which was updated after the fall of the Nazis to include only the third stanza, a Hawaiian soloist began the song with its original first verse that is associated with Hitler: “Germany, Germany, above all else.”

German tennis player Andrea Petkovic called it “an absolute outrage and affront, the lowest. It was by some way the worst thing that’s happened to me, especially in the Fed Cup.”

The USTA said, however, that it “was an honest mistake.”

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“In no way did we mean any disrespect…the correct anthem will be performed for the remainder of this first-round tie.”

Germany’s tennis association said on Twitter that it hopes the USTA will make sure the error does not occur again.

“We can assure you that it won’t,” the USTA replied. “Again, our sincere apologies.”

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