Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Principal sorry for using Nazi `motivational' speech

AFP , CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

A US high school principal was forced to issue an apology after a 90-second excerpt of a Nazi propaganda speech by Joseph Goebbels was played over a stadium loudspeaker before a school soccer game, the Charlotte Observer reported.

In a misguided attempt at motivation, Forestview played the Nazi-era speech by Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister on a public address system before a home playoff victory against Charlotte Catholic.

The school's principal, Robert Carpenter, later apologized in a letter for the airing of an extended portion of the speech, which played off the theme of Forestview coach David Shearer, "On to victory."

"Student intent was to only play the `On to victory' clip. Unfortunately at one time a good bit of the speech was played on the PA during the pre-game," Carpenter said.

"Coach Shearer and the team started using `On to victory' as a slogan. We have a German exchange student on our team. He taught our students to say it in German," he added.

`Zealous students'

"Some of our more zealous students sought to capture this slogan in German and to play it on the PA," he said.

School officials said two players downloaded the speech off the Internet and that no adult heard the audio clip before it was played over the loudspeaker.

Forestview won the playoff game 1-0.

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