Belonging. Soccer, inclusion and exclusion, 1930s - 1950s
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Milestones in the Histories of Sport and Physical Culture. International ISHPES Congress 2019
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Belonging. Soccer, inclusion and exclusion 1930s ? 1950s
The address discusses the topics inclusion and exclusion with case studies from the field of sports. Some years ago an old emigré from Germany who fled the Nazi regime (and, by the way, later became Leon Trotzky ?s bodyguard) began his memories about the importance of soccer for his personal belonging with the words: ?Tears were running down my face when I watched a poor football game on a windy day in the outskirts of New York. All what I have lost in Germany came into my mind, when I watched this terrible game. My language, my culture, my family and ? soccer!?
Identification with a soccer team can be an interesting measure for identity (mostly of males) and it often includes also the belonging to a certain network. This fact does not only touch the field of positive identification and integration but as well the terms anta¬gonism and segregation. Soccer/football is a good example for the power of identi¬fication as well as a tool concerning self-consciousness. During the interwar years soccer was by far the most important mass sports in Central Europe. And it was more ? for a specific group of people it was a metaphor for ?home?, up to the level of having a sedative or tranquilizing effect against repression and perpetration. The presentation will concentrate on football players and supporters, partly emigrants who fled from Austria and Germany after 1933 and other victims of the National Socialist regime like Spanish inmates in concentration camp Mauthausen. More than 5.000 Spanish and Catalan republican resistance fighters were brought there. The question how important sports was for the identity of the persons concerned after World War II will also be looked into. The paper is based on archival material, photographs, film footage, memoirs and narrative interviews.