Chilean president makes Nazi gaffe in Berlin

President Pinera

President Pinera

The Chilean president has apologised for writing a phrase associated with the Nazis in a message to the German government while on a state visit.

President Sebastian Pinera wrote in the government’s guest book the slogan “Deutschland uber alles" which translates as “Germany above all.”

The phrase was used by Nazi politicians during the Third Reich and after the Second World War was removed from the German national anthem because of its connotations.

President Pinera said he had been taught the slogan at school and that he thought it marked German unification under Otto von Bismarck. He expressed regret but said he had not been aware of its links "to that country's dark past".

He was visiting Berlin as part of a series of international trips made in the wake of the rescue of the 33 miners trapped in the Chilean desert.

Last updated: 9:03am, October 26 2010