Apple removes Nazi songs from German iTunes

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Steve Jobs

A German marching song, "Horst Wessel Lied," named after a Nazi party activist killed in 1930, was removed by the German version of Apple's iTunes store yesterday, coinciding with Holocaust Memorial Day, after German media revealed that Apple was breaking German law by allowing downloads of the Nazi anthem. Amazon removed the song as well.

Sample lyrics from the song include: "Soon will fly Hitler-flags over every street; Slavery will last only a short time longer." An Apple spokesman said another Nazi album called S.S. Protection Squad had also been removed, having been blacklisted by the German government in 2008 for being dangerous to youth. But other titles, like "The Fuhrer Calls," remain available in more obscure sections like "world music."

Apple, which moved expeditiously last year to remove songs deemed overly sexual, appears to have been caught unaware by the ultra-nationalist songs. German experts say music essentially serves as one of the main recruiting tools for the right-wing in preying on impressionable youth.