"Outdated" stanza from German anthem played at tennis match?

An outdated stanza of the German national anthem was sung during the opening ceremonies at he FED Cup quarterfinals in Hawaii. The particular stanza dates to WW 2 Germany.

Apparently, the singing of this stanza greatly offended the people in the audience who understood it.

Does the stanza in question praise Hilter and/or the Third Reich? What was the big deal?

It was the version used specifically during the a Third Riech and subsequently dropped after WWII.

Here’s a link: Tennis: Germans outraged as U.S. plays Nazi version of anthem | Reuters

It doesn’t date to Nazi Germany. It dates to 1841. He’re’s the basic deal. In the 1790s, Haydn wrote a birthday song for the Emperor of Austria. In 1841, this German nationalist poet named Augustus Hoffman wrote new lyrics for the song, and called it “The Song of the Germans”, in German, “Das Lied der Deutschen”.

Germany in 1841, wasn’t one country, and the song was about how Germany should be united; all the German speaking lands should become Germany. Here’s the first verse, in German and in English:

In English, it’s

So Germany was united, under the King of Prussia, who became Emperor, and the anthem in Imperial Germany was “Hail to thee, the Victor’s Crown”, which had been the national anthem of Prussia (and, which, interestingly enough, had been written for the King of Denmark.) Then, after World War I, and the overthrow of the German Empire, the new German government got rid of that anthem, and replaced it with “Das Lied der Deutschen”, which they renamed the “Deutschlandlied”…the Song of Germany.

Then the Nazis came to power and WWII happened, and all that. After the war, when West Germany came about, they needed an anthem. So, why not the Deutschlandlied? Only problem was, if you look at the first verse, it lays out hypothetical Germany’s borders, four rivers:

“From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,”

The Meuse is in France. The Memel is in Belarus and Lithuania. The Adige is in Italy. (The Belt is the strait that separates Germany and Denmark) All of this stuff made sense to the German nationalists of 1840, because those were all German speaking areas. The Meuse was in Alsace, which was an area of German speakers in France. The Memel was in Prussia, and the Adage was in the South Tyrol, which was a German speaking area in Italy.

However, after WWII, the West German government was concerned about their image; Germany’s international reputation having taken a pretty big dump over the past 20 years, and they were scared of anything that might make it seem like they were upset about the land Germany had lost after WWI and WWII, or that they had any claims on any other country. So, they just took the third verse:

and made that the anthem. (The second verse, about how Germans have hot women and good booze and that made the Germans awesome, was also cut.)

Meaning the offending stanza was used by the Third Riech for political reasons and is deeply associated with them.

(The second verse, about how Germans have hot women and good booze and that made the Germans awesome, was also cut.)[/QUOTE]

I wonder if the second stanza was also sung at this tennis tournament?

For the medal ceremonies at the Olympics, about 60-90 seconds of the national anthem of the gold medal-winning athlete or athletes is played. Prior to the 2012 London Games, the London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the anthems of more than 200 countries, and each country signed off on the anthem that would be played.

So if I were running an event such as this, I would have contacted the IOC or the London organizing committee for access to those recordings.

The music played at the Olympics is just orchestral, with no lyrics, so the question wouldn’t come up.

Leading John Forster to this, after the reunification. :slight_smile:

Between 1952 and 1990, there was some uncertainty whether the whole song was technically the national anthem of West Germany, or only the third stanza. It seems to me that the intention in 1952 was for the whole song be the national anthem. In either case, only the third stanza was actually sung at official functions during that time. Shortly before reunification in 1990, a court ruled that only the third stanza has standing as the national anthem. Court decision.

I think I need a clarification here. There is no strait between Germany and Denmark.

Fehmarn Belt.

Former (?) Libertines singer Pete Doherty made a similar cock-up when he performed the anthem during a show a few years ago.