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Monday, November 30, 2009

Pete Doherty apologises for singing 'Nazi' anthem

Singer Pete Doherty has apologised after being asked to leave a stage in Germany for performing a verse of the national anthem with Nazi connotations.

Doherty, 30, was booed after singing "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles" at a concert in Munich on Saturday that was broadcast live on Bavarian radio.

A spokesperson for the singer said he was "unaware of the controversy" about the anthem's rarely used first verse.

"He deeply apologises if he has caused any offence," he said.

The first verse of Germany's national anthem - which translates as "Germany, Germany above everything" - has been ignored since the fall of the Third Reich.

The third verse - which begins "Unity and justice and liberty for the German fatherland" - has been used since East and West Germany unified in 1990.

Public radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk stopped broadcasting from the on3 music festival when Doherty began his version of the anthem.

Video footage of the incident shows him incorporating the song with an eccentric rendition of 'Hit the Road Jack'.

Onlookers can be heard reacting angrily to the refrain, which was dropped after World War II.

According to local reports, the Babyshambles star performed five more songs before being ushered from the stage.

In a letter printed on the on3 website, Doherty's manager Adrian Hunter said the singer had "wanted to celebrate his appearance in Munich by assimilating and integrating with the crowd".

"Pete himself is from Jewish descent and has fought against racism and fascism with numerous organisations," the letter said.

"This is a subject he feels very strongly about."

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