Doherty sorry for Nazi anthem performance

3rd December 2009, Comments 1 comment

The British star apologised for singing the anthem, claiming he did not realize its lyrics have been taboo in Germany since the Nazi era.

Berlin -- British rocker Peter Doherty apologised Tuesday for singing the Nazi anthem "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles" during a weekend set in Germany, saying he was unaware it would cause offence.

Revellers at the on3 festival in Munich Saturday had reportedly booed and shouted at Doherty as he launched into the offensive lyrics, but he carried on singing until organisers removed him from the stage.

A spokeswoman for the singer told the event's organisers Tuesday that he had not realised the verse beginning "Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world" had been taboo here since the Nazi era.

"Pete wanted to celebrate his appearance in Munich by assimilating and integrating with the crowd, something he tries to do wherever he goes," she said, as quoted by on3.

"He was unaware of the controversy surrounding the German national anthem and deeply apologises if he has caused any offence."

The spokeswoman added that Doherty is of "Jewish descent and has fought against racism and fascism with numerous organisations including Love Music Hate Racism. This is a subject he feels very strongly about."

His manager Adrian Hunter told on3, which broadcast the concert live in the southern state of Bavaria, that Doherty strongly opposed right-wing extremism.

"Pete is an active participant in anti-fascist and anti-racist organisations and would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone of any race or creed to unite and actively fight against the resurgence of the far-right's hateful doctrine in any way they can."

It is the latest in a long line of controversies for the 30-year-old Babyshambles singer, whose career has been marred by drug use and jail time.

The offensive lines come from the first verse of the "Song of Germany" dating from 1841, which the Nazis twisted into a hymn of racial superiority.

While the verse is not banned in Germany, it has been taboo since World War II because of its close links with the Third Reich.

After German reunification in 1990, the more placid third verse of the song beginning "Unity and justice and freedom" formally became the new national anthem.


1 Comment To This Article

  • randy strickland posted:

    on 3rd December 2009, 21:47:33 - Reply

    Crybabies!!!The song was originally a left-wing radical student song! The "offensive" verse has nothing to do with racism or superiority except
    that the love of ones' homeland ...When will the German people stop acting like a bunch of hand-wringing babies ?