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Gdansk. Germans sang a folk song at the St. Dominika, later apologized. Organizer’s statement

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Folk ensemble, which at the St. Dominika in Gdansk came with the official delegation of Middle Franconia, performed the old folk song “Ein Heller und ein Batzen”. The song was also popular during World War II among Wehrmacht soldiers. “The musicians were not aware of the associations with this folk song and did not want to offend anyone in any way,” the representative of the Middle Franconia District said in a statement and expressed “regret for the situation.” The organizers of the fair emphasized that they had no influence on “chants in various spaces of the fair”.

The incident happened on Sunday at the St. Dominic in Gdańsk. The folk band, which came with the official delegation of Middle Franconia, before the official performance on stage, performed a chant – the folk song “Ein Heller und ein Batzen”.

A recording of the song was posted on social media the same day. Comments appeared on the network indicating the inappropriateness of performing this song in Gdańsk.

PiS MP Kacper Płażyński said on Monday that he would like it to be some ignorance on the part of the folklore group.

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– If they specialize in singing various historical, German songs, they should realize that when they come to Poland, to Gdańsk, where the Nazis ruled during the Free City of Gdańsk, how they sing about “hajlowanie”, because it is a remake of the old Prussian songs, it’s not so much awkward, but it’s a scandal – said Płażyński.

The song was very popular among Wehrmacht soldiers during World War II. German soldiers singing this song were shown, among others, in in the 1946 film Forbidden Songs.

Although in Poland it is commonly known under the incorrect name “Heili, Heilo, Heila” – in fact the words of the chorus were “Heidi, Heido, Heida”.

St. Patrick’s Fair Dominic in GdańskPiotr Hukalo/East News

The German side “regrets very much about the situation”, “the musicians were not aware”

The organizers of the St. Dominica.

“The song was performed by a folk band that came with the official delegation of Middle Franconia and promoted traditional products at the St. Dominic’s Fair. The band performed it in the original, folk version from the 19th century and was not aware of its unambiguously negative connotations in Poland. We pointed out the inappropriateness We apologize for this situation. It is worth emphasizing that the delegation of Middle Franconia began its visit to Pomerania by laying a wreath at the Monument to the Defenders of the Coast on Westerplatte” – was first transmitted on social media under the post with the recording.

A statement from the German side was posted on the website of the city of Gdańsk. “Middle Franconia deeply regrets this situation. The musicians were not aware of the association with this folk song and did not want to offend anyone in any way. If a false impression was created here and someone’s feelings were hurt, the group and the Middle Franconia District expressly apologize for this. The band sang the original version: ‘Ein Heller und ein Batzen’ with the chorus ‘Heidi, Heido, Heida’,” said Wolf Dieter Enser, spokesman for the District of Middle Franconia.

Statement of the organizers

“The City of Gdańsk and Międzynarodowe Targi Gdańskie SA accept the apology issued by the German delegation after the performance of the folk band representing the region of Middle Franconia,” reads a statement on the city’s website. “The song was performed by a folk band that came with the official delegation of Middle Franconia and promoted traditional products at the St. Dominic’s Fair. The band performed it outside the official program and in the original folk version from 1830” – emphasized in the statement. And it was added that 60 artistic events take place during the fair. “The organizers agree on the performances on the main stage, but they have no influence on the chants in various spaces of the Fair, as was the case in the above case” – it was indicated.

Main photo source: Piotr Hukalo/East News



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