October 25, 2015, is the date of the official opening for the public of the “Museum of German Soccer” in Dortmund, Germany. 7000 square meters on three wide floors, with thousands of exhibits and documents, 3000 short films and no end of stories,that cost the city and the “Deutscher Fussball-Bund” (German Soccer Association) 36 million Euro.
The Beit Theresienstadt museum and the project “LIGA TEREZIN” are proud to be a part of the permanent exhibition. The museum approached Beit Theresienstadt during a tour of “LIGA TEREZIN” at the beginning of 2015 in Germany and requested material on soccer in the ghetto, because the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Martin Werner was of the opinion that in the section dedicated to WWII and before that, it is important to show the part Jews played in soccer in those times.
Beside outstanding personalities of Jewish sportsmen like Julius Hirsch, who played for the Germany in the beginning of the 20th century and his colleague on the team, Gottfried Fuchs (who scored 10 goals during one game, a record broken only in 2001) and, of course, Kurt Landauer, head of Bayern Munich before theNazis came to power and after the war, a corner was reserved for soccer in ghetto Theresienstadt. This corner displays a drawing of soccer in the ghetto by Leo Haas, a table of the tournament and a poster on which a film is screened based on material sent by Beit Theresienstadt to the museum with testimonies by its members and founders Peter Erben, the late Yaakov Tsur and the late Míla Červenka.The film, narrated in German with English translation was made in cooperation with Beit Theresienstadt, as is mentioned at the end of the film, on the background of Beit Theresienstadt’s logo.
Elsewhere in the museum there are further mentions of the Holocaust and there is no doubt that the museum found its way to point out that in the history of German soccer Jews had an important part, sometimes in the sport itself and sometimes as victims during that dark era.
On October 17, 2015,the museum opened a preview of the exhibition, attended by Oded Breda who thanked the director of the museumManuel Neukirchner and the historian Malte von Pidoll for their effort. It was agreed to continue the cooperation towards the start of 2016, after the end of the “running-in” of the museum. It expects some 300.000 visitors annually.
During a conversation with historian Malte von Pidoll who dedicated a substantial area of the exhibition to Julius Hirsch (the Julius Hirsch prize for the fight against racism and violence is given annually by the German Soccer Association to teams and fans), it transpired that his children Esther and Heinold were transported to Theresienstadt in February of 1945, in spite of his having divorced his Christian wife to prevent that and they remained there until the ghetto was liberated.
The material about them will be entered into Beit Theresienstadt’s archives.