Hours before Wednesday’s Champions League clash at home to Juventus, Bayern Munich had to apologise after a graphic posted on their Twitter account was misinterpreted as having links to a Nazi-era concentration camp.
The Bavarian giants’ official Twitter feed posted an image of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, their Allianz Arena stadium and the end of a train track under the text “Here is the end” written in Italian.
The graphic was intended to jokingly suggest the Italian team’s exit after the last 16, second leg clash in Munich. The sides drew 2-2 in the first leg in Turin three weeks ago.
But some users pointed out that the train track image was reminiscent of the infamous picture of railway lines leading to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during the Holocaust.
The Bundesliga leaders quickly posted an apology.
“Unfortunately, our matchday graphic has been misunderstood to represent historic events, something which was never intended,” read the statement.
“If we have hurt the feelings of Juventus fans in particular or any other users as a result, we sincerely apologise.”
Bayern’s media director Markus Hoerwick said those responsible for the graphic had failed to make the link.
“The young people who made this graphic didn’t have a clue about German history,” he said.
The furore came after Bayern president Karl Hopfner opened a touring exhibition at the former Dachau concentration camp in January dedicated to club members who were victims of the Holocaust under Nazi rule.
The exhibition, titled “Idolised – Persecuted – Forgotten: Victims of National Socialism at FC Bayern Munich”, tells the story of the 56 members who were deported or had to flee Germany during the Nazi era.
Former club presidents Kurt Landauer, who was briefly imprisoned in the Dachau camp, near Munich, and Siegfried Herrmann, were amongst the victims of Nazi persecution.