Was it the drugs talking or the lack of intact brain cells that made Pete Doherty belt out ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über alles‘, the national anthem under the Third Reich, at his on3 music festival performance in Munich, Germany ?
Doherty carried on during a booing chorus by the outraged crowd but was finally escorted off stage by the organisers after just 5 of his songs had been completed.
The Telegraph reports that the concert was also being broadcast live on Bavarian radio but that the . Broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk cut the broadcast as soon as Doherty began his song.
‘Deutschland über alles’ is the first verse of ‘Deutschlandlied‘, a song written by Joseph Haydn in 1797. The third verse of ‘Deutschlandlied’ is used as the current German national anthem, and has the same tune as ‘Deutschland über alles‘.
It’s the first verse however which is a no no and quite controversial because of its association with the Nazis. The uber patriotic lyrics which have not been officially used since World War II translate: “Germany, Germany above anything/Above everything in the world”.
The former lead singer of The Libertines has been embroiled in Nazi-themed controversy before. A track on the band’s 2004 album entitled ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ caused an uproar as it took its name from the logan placed above the entrances of Nazi concentration camps.
Chief prosecutor Barbara Stockinger was examining Doherty’s performance closely, but stated that it was not currently being treated as a crime.
Pete released following statement over the incident through a spokes person:
“[He] wanted to celebrate his appearance in Munich by assimilating and integrating with the crowd, something he tries do wherever he goes.
He was unaware of the controversy surrounding the German national anthem and he deeply apologises if he has caused any offense,” the singer’s spokesperson continued.
Peter himself is from 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.