THE singing of Deutschland Uber Alles by former Anglo executive John Bowe to boss David Drumm is certain to cause widespread offence to Germans.
The opening stanza of the old anthem was dropped after the Second World War, having been embraced by Hitler.
Now the anthem begins at the third stanza, and the first verse has become the preserve of right-wing organisations and fascist groups.
In 2009 rock star Pete Doherty faced possible prosecution in Germany after he sang the banned verse at a pop festival in Munich.
As soon as the audience realised he was singing the first verse, they began to jeer.
And in 2010 Chile's President Pinera had to apologise after writing 'Deutschland Uber Alles' in the visitors' book at the office of the German president, unaware of its links to Germany's dark Nazi past.