For years, the name of metro station Mohrenstrasse (Moors Street) left Berliners feeling uncomfortable.
The use of an out-of-date term for North Africans was seen as racist or pejorative.
But when the transport authority said it would be renamed after composer Glinka, its choice was ridiculed.
Glinka may have died around the corner, but he was also anti-Semitic. Now the authority has rowed back, saying a final decision is yet to be made.
In an apparent u-turn on renaming the U-Bahn station Glinkastrasse, Berlin's BVG said it was just one possible option and it was open to discussion. No signs had been switched yet, and there was still plenty of time before new timetables were printed.
Why Glinka then?
Asked why Russian composer Mikhail Glinka had been chosen in the first place, spokeswoman Petra Nelken pointed out that a street with his name on was nearby.
"We're not responsible for street names," she told RBB24, adding that until recently there had been no indication on his Wikipedia page that he might have been anti-Semitic.
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Glinka's reputation is well established though - writing on the German Jewish website Jüdische Allgemeine, Judith Kessler pointed out that Glinka's work Prince Kholmsky was full of anti-Semitism and he used anti-Semitic insults to attack contemporary musician Anton Rubinstein.