27.01.2021Bayer 04

‘Never again’ – Seventeenth Remembrance Day in German Football

This Wednesday, 27 January, marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army. With the ‘Remembrance Day in German Football’, the German Football League (DFL) and clubs in the top two divisions in Germany remember the victims of National Socialism on matchdays 18 and 19 in the 2021/21 season.

This provides the opportunity to remember the survivors and their families with humility and respect. This event is aimed at ensuring Auschwitz never happens again and that remains an obligation on everybody born since then. And the football family remembers every year, on the occasion of the ‘Remembrance Day in German Football’, that people from their communities were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. In addition to many different groups who did not conform to their world view or stood in the way of their political plans, it was primarily people of Jewish heritage who were tortured and murdered in the concentration camps.

This year, the football family particularly remembers the people who were stigmatised and brutally persecuted as ‘deviants and homosexuals’ due to their sexuality and sexual identity. Over 10,000 were transported to the concentration camps by the Nazis. They were often victims of perverse medical experiments by the camp doctors who were intent on destroying their victims’ sexual capacity. Their lot included being subjected to mocking contempt and tormented by other camp inmates in excessive acts of violence. They were harassed to the point of suicide, which represented a means of maintaining their dignity and putting an end to their immeasurable suffering.

It is self-evident that sexuality and sexual identity should be inalienable human rights. This also involves deepening and intensifying the dialogue on the issue in football and also forms part of ‘learning from Auschwitz’. This lesson has to be learned again and again. That is the message from the survivors of concentration camps on the ‘Seventeenth Remembrance Day in German Football’ on matchdays 18 and 19.



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