Commemorative plaque unveiled for victims of Nazi regime

As part of the ‘Remembrance Day in German football’, HSV unveiled a commemorative plaque for the victims from the HSV family of the Nazi regime at the Volksparkstadion on Monday evening.

Monday 27th January 2020 was 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. A day where people are remembered, who were imprisoned, murdered and wiped out en masse by a criminal regime as part of the Second World War. As part of the ‘Nie Wieder!’ (Never again!) initiative, the ‘Remembrance Day in German football’ was introduced in 2004, remembering the day when the survivors of the Auschwitz camp were liberated in 1945. The Remembrance Day is organised with the help of the DFL. 

HSV has taken part in the Remembrance Day over the past few years through various different initiatives, for example organising a number of events in 2019 together with the memorial site at the former concentration camp in Neuengamme, including a podium discussion about the role that sport plays in politics and society.

On the 75th anniversary and as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, HSV unveiled a commemorative plaque just outside the north-east entrance to the Volksparkstadion. Bernd Hoffmann, HSV chairman, Niko Stövhase, head of the HSV museum, and Moritz Schäfer, vice-president of HSV e.V., made short speeches to the crowd before the plaque was unveiled. The inscription on the plaque read: 

‘In memory of the members of the HSV family who were harassed, deported and murdered by the Nazi regime. Nothing and no-one is forgotten! Hamburger SV’.

In his speech Bernd Hoffmann, in the presence of the whole of the first team and coaching staff, emphasised the need to not shy away from uncomfortable facts in the club’s history: “We condemn every form of anti-Semitic and racist behaviour and will continue to preserve the memory of those who suffered and were murdered in the next years and for generations to come. As a whole it is important for us as the HSV family to remember the darkest moments of both Germany’s and HSV’s history, and not shy away from the part we played in it.”

Niko Stövhase, head of the HSV museum, also focussed on remembrance as a powerful tool for the future: “Today’s Remembrance Day is a good date to make a statement. To show that as HSV we would like to remember members of the club’s history, who during the Nazi regime were deported, harassed and murdered. Due to the high number of Jewish HSV members we know that there were lots of victims from our club. This new place of remembrance offers the chance for survivors or relatives to come to the stadium and get in contact with us, to remember what happened together.”

After the plaque had been unveiled by Bernd Hoffmann and Moritz Schäfer, there was a short biography of the life of Margarete Zinke, a HSV hockey player who was murdered in 1945 at the Neuengamme concentration camp. The event ended with the opportunity to talk about the topics discussed and visit the HSV museum for free.