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"How is it possible that Jews in the Holocaust played football?" | Israel today


Oded Brida's family received a German newspaper page in the early 1960s, with a picture of Brida's uncle playing football in front of admiring spectators • Years later he found it difficult to digest the content of the photo: "" For years I thought these games were staged for the purpose of the propaganda film, "he says," but then I found out that the camp had a league of adults and youth, football teams that bore the names of well-known clubs or 'departments' working in the camp. "

Somewhere in the early 1960s, a German newspaper page arrived at the Brida family home in Ramat Gan, on which two photographs were printed, which appeared to have been taken from two completely different worlds: at the bottom of the page, a body photograph, or rather skeletons of dead bodies from a German concentration camp.

At the top of the page - young guys in sportswear run into the eyes of admiring spectators.

On the side of this photo appeared the caption in German: "Only on celluloid: a football game in the camp square."

The top photo was also taken in a German concentration camp, the Theresienstadt or Terezin camp, which was established in the Czech Republic and was intended to serve as a "display camp" for Nazi propaganda purposes.

The Red Cross delegations and other international bodies were brought to this camp and presented with a "normal life routine" of the Jews imprisoned there, to refute all the horrific reports of what really happened in the concentration and extermination camps to which Jews from all over occupied Europe were sent.

The Germans also produced two propaganda films in Theresienstadt, one of which - filmed in September 1944, was the filming of the football game.

The photo shows one of the members of the Brida family, Pavel, who, like almost all those photographed in the propaganda film, was sent to die in Auschwitz in the fall of 1944.

Oded Brida, who was a small child in the early 1960s, saw the newspaper clipping on which his uncle appeared.

Years later he found it difficult to digest the content of the photograph: how is it possible that in the midst of the Holocaust, in the midst of the inferno of the Nazi extermination system, young Jews played football?

He later learned of the existence of the Nazi propaganda film, a significant portion of which is devoted to camp football games.

"For years I thought that these football games were staged for the purpose of the propaganda film," he says, "but it was only when I started working with the Beit Terezin Museum that I discovered that a lot of football was played in the camp. There was a league of adults and youth "The" work departments "in the camp. The children's newspapers published in the camp included very detailed descriptions of the games and the moves in them.

Brida, now 67, initiated an exhibition on football in the "Terezin" concentration camp at Beit Terezin in Kibbutz Givat Haim Ihud.

The exhibition attracted many teenagers thanks to its theme - football.

It has been developed into a complete educational program on sports and the human spirit.

Beit Terezin also began holding a memorial tournament in which youth groups participate.

The great interest that arose around the exhibition attracted the attention of two CNN reporters, Mike Schwartz and Avi Kenner, who noticed the football exhibition while preparing an article on another topic, and decided to make a documentary called "Terezin League", which also deals with the very common antisemitic phenomena in European football today. .

 In 2013, the heads of the German Football Association visited the "Terezin League" exhibition.

Following the visit, they asked Encouraged Brida to attend a lecture tour for fans of German football clubs around International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The trip provoked strong reactions, which became an annual event.

In time he appeared in Rida with his lecture and with the "Terezin League" in almost all the important football clubs in Germany.

For this important work he was recently awarded an honorary award by the German Football Association.

The "Julius Hirsch Prize" is named after a member of the German national football team, and the previous incarnation of the German Football Association, which was assassinated in Auschwitz, was awarded to Brida at a special event held in Frankfurt.

Oded Barida, Photo: Eldad Beck

Brida is the first Israeli to win this award - awarded since 2005 to individuals and organizations that excel in activities for social responsibility and the strengthening of civil society, democracy, human rights and the protection of minorities.

The award was given to Brida for his contribution to dealing with the Nazi period and promoting relations between Israel and Germany.

"My father's family came from Brno, who was in Czechoslovakia," says Brida. "My father, Moshe, managed to leave Europe after the outbreak of the Holocaust in December 1939, with a certificate to Israel. "1944, and did not return. Among the members of his football team in the concentration camp, my uncle is the only one who did not survive. I was one of those who boycotted Germany. My father refused to accept compensation from the Germans. When I started my lecture campaigns my attitude changed."

"Once a year, around Holocaust Remembrance Day, until the Corona period, I met for two weeks with fans of clubs playing in the Bundesliga and clubs from the lower leagues. Talk to them about it in other ways. Holocaust images exist in stadiums today. Fans of rival groups to clubs that are considered 'Jewish', because of the past or present support of Jews in them, make cries like 'Jews for gas' and 'Hale Hitler'. Therefore the film and theme are still relevant "I found myself in very exciting places and classes."

"Like the lecture I gave at a sports pub in Munich. I was the only Jewish-Israeli in the place, and everyone talked about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. In discussions, questions always arise related to the second, third and fourth generations of the Holocaust and the Holocaust. "The parallel discussions between the refugee situation and the Holocaust. I did not understand why. There is no connection between these two situations.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-12-03

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