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Google sorry for Adolf Hitler gaffe on German map

MAINZ, Germany -- Google apologized after its Internet mapping service temporarily renamed a popular Berlin square after Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler on Thursday.

Instead of Theodor Heuss Platz, the map named the street along one side of the eponymous square Adolf Hitler Platz after the Fascist leader.

“We were made aware of a wrong and inappropriate Berlin street name on Google Maps and have corrected this as quickly as possible,” the Internet search giant said in an email to NBC News. “We apologize for this error.”

It did not say how long the error had been in place but local media reports suggest that it was online for a couple of hours.

The square carried Hitler's name after his rise to power in 1933 until the end of World War II. It had previously been known as Reichskanzlerplatz and the name reverted to that in 1945.

In 1963 it was renamed after the country’s first president, Theodor Heuss, who died that year.   

Google executives told Germany’s BZ newspaper that "they had no explanation for the incident, but are now investigating the error.” 

German Internet expert and blogger Sascha Lobo told NBC News it was probably a simple error caused by the use of the map marker tool. 

"The name Adolf Hitler Platz was then probably approved because it is historically correct," he said. "So in the end it might have been a simple error over the order of the names."