To commemorate the Holocaust, DFB President Fritz Keller recalled football’s social responsibility – and the Nazi past of one of its predecessors. “This incredible horror, this unprecedented suffering that has been inflicted on people is all the more painful because football, which today stands for understanding and diversity and against racism and discrimination, did not resist at the time,” said Keller. “On the contrary: he was complicit.”
Keller recalled that former DFB president Felix Linnemann was actively involved in the deportation of Sinti and Roma to Auschwitz. “We feel a special responsibility,” he said. The association had the role of the German Football Association in National Socialism examined in 2005 in a scientific study (“Football under the swastika”).
Monday marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp. On this occasion, German football is organizing the “Remembrance Day” for the 16th time with numerous actions. Among other things, the national players call in a video clip to stand up for humanity, respect and diversity.
Keller praised Eintracht Frankfurt’s role model function in dealing with its own past. The Hessians are considering posthumously withdrawing the honorary presidency from their ex-president Rudolf Gramlich. The former national team captain was part of the Waffen SS and profited from expropriations. The DFB also wants to check whether previous awards such as the Golden Badge of Honor and DFB Honorary Membership can be revoked.