In Germany, football fans are leading the way in this year’s commemorations through a series of initiatives aimed at engaging clubs, fans and the wider audience. Book presentations, film screening, debates and visits to memorial sites are among the many activities organised under the umbrella of the fan-driven !Nei Wieder campaign.
In Hamburg, the supporters of FC St Pauli fans are organising a ceremony in memory of the victims that will take place on 27 January at the Harald-Stender square.
On 11 January, supporters of Werder Bremen held a discussion with former player Marco Bode and other guests about the life of Albert Reis. Days after, on 25 January, FANport Fan-Anlaufstelle debated the rise of new far-right movements in Europe.
The match between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and VfB Stuttgart on 20 January saw fans of both clubs as well as players of FC Ente Bagdad display a large banner reading “Together for Remembrance and Diversity”. The match also included speeches from representatives of both clubs and family members of Holocaust victims.
FC Shalke 04 debuted an exhibition about Jews in German football on 16 January at the club’s VELTINS-Arena, where the work of the Schalker Fan-Initiative E.V. is also be presented as a best practice example in tackling discrimination in sport.
The clubs TSV 1860 Munich and FC Bayern Munich and their fans have joined forces to carry out a project aimed at raising awareness of National Socialism and today’s rise of far-right ideology. Their fans will engage in a series of discussions and visits to concentration camps, including Dachau and Auschwitz.
In England, West Ham used its website to mark the day with an interview with the author and survivor of the Holocaust Elie Wiesel.
Premier League club Chelsea FC will kick-off a new campaign this month to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about anti-Semitism in football.
The long-term initiative will officially launch on 31 January at the Premier League game against Bournemouth and will include equality and diversity workshops in primary schools, an education programme for supporters banned for anti-Semitic behaviour, visits to former concentration camps for staff, fans and stewards, an exhibition at the Chelsea Museum on football and British Jews and screenings of Liga Terezin, a documentary about a football league run from a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
The campaign is being organised as part of the #WeRemember initiative of the World Jewish Congress, who are also partnering up with the Israeli clubs Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Hapoel Beer Sheva and the Israe U18 national team.
Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team used the opportunity to join the campaign at its EuroLeague game against Red Star Belgrade to encourage the 10,000 fans in the stadium to stand with the #WeRemember sign.