A club so impacted by the horrors of the Holocaust remembered their own fallen today. The Bayern Munich board honored the memory of two members of the club who were murdered as a result of the horrific rise of National Socialism.
On this day, January 27th, the world remembers the victims of the Holocaust. In Germany, the day is known as the Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism. The date is as important today as it was 75 years ago, when the army of the Soviet Union liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
In Munich, the club unveiled plaques honoring club members Hugo Railing and Wilhelm Neuburger. Railing and Neuberger were ardent fans of the club and prominent businessmen in Munich when they were taken away from their families and sent to concentration camps.
At the unveiling ceremonies both club president Herbert Hainer and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke on the club’s ties to the Holocaust and how the fans speak out against racism. Hainer said,
FC Bayern acknowledges its social responsibility and makes a clear gesture against the horrific crimes that were committed during the Nazi era. By virtue of its immense popularity, FC Bayern can influence people the world over so that something like this never happens again.
Rummenigge cited the necessity of learning from the past:
We have to rise up together against antisemitism: the past warns. The present recalls. The future obliges. Our generations are not responsible for what happened. But we are responsible to ensure it is not forgotten - and that it never happens again. Let us act accordingly.
Neuberger successfully emigrated to the Netherlands in 1936 when National Socialism was on the rise in Germany. However, he was later captured and was murdered in the Bergen-Belsen camp in January of 1945, only three months before the camp was liberated.
Railing was captured and sent to the Sobibor camp in Eastern Poland, where he was murdered in 1942.
Throughout the league, Matchdays 19 and 20 are played in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On Saturday’s game against FC Schalke 04, players of both clubs gathered together to remember the fallen.
The Bayern Südkurve also unveiled a tifo in memory of Railing, showing his image and displaying the accompanying message:
Hugo Railing - persecuted and murdered by the Nazis / Münchener, father, member of Bavaria and council of elders
The ties between Bayern Munich, the most prominent “Judenklub” in history, and the Holocaust are integral to the club’s DNA. The sacrifices that club members like Railing, Neuberger, Kurt Landauer, and countless other Jewish members and players were forced to endure are harrowing and important.
On a day so hallowed, the only thing we at BFW have to say is We Remember, and we will never forget.