Kurt Landauer statue unveiled at Säbener Straße
The ceremonial handover of a bronze statue of former FC Bayern president Kurt Landauer took place at Säbener Straße on Wednesday afternoon. Current president Uli Hoeneß and Landauer's nephew, Uri Siegel, unveiled the monument on a specially erected platform. Landauer passed away in 1961.
"Kurt Landauer is back at the heart of Säbener Straße," said Sebastian Mederer, chairman of the Kurt Landauer Foundation, which had initiated the project almost two years ago. "We're thrilled to hand over this statue as a gift to FC Bayern." Landauer was responsible for making Säbener Straße the sporting home of the club over 70 years ago. "What it has become today is something unique," Mederer added.
An addition to Hoeneß, vice presidents Prof. Dr. Dieter Mayer and Walker Mennekes also took part in the event. FC Bayern München AG was represented by chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and deputy chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen.
"Kurt Landauer was one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest president in the history of FC Bayern," said Hoeneß in praise of his predecessor, who was named the club's honorary president in 2013. "Everyone at the club was delighted and we are very proud and happy that the Kurt Landauer Foundation organised this of their own initiative and created an honourable place here for Kurt Landauer," Hoeneß continued.
Landauer, who was born on 28 July 1884 in Planegg, on the outskirts of Munich, as the son of Jewish merchants, led FC Bayern Munich on a number of occasions. He was president of the club four times between 1913 and 1951, holding office for a total of 19 years. During this time he rendered great service to the club. FC Bayern won its first German championship in June 1932 under visionary Landauer.
Only nine months later, due to the new political situation in Germany, he was forced to resign on 22 March 1933 because of his Jewish background. In 1938 he was interned for 33 days at Dachau concentration camp and five months later he emigrated to Switzerland. After the Second World War, Landauer returned to Munich and was named club president yet again in 1947.
"We see it as our task to send a permanent reminder against forgetting," Prof. Dr. Mayer emphasised in his speech. He recalled the "darkest and most painful period in the history of our club" and urged people "not to close one's eyes and keep alive the honourable memory of all victims".
"I'm very pleased he was honoured in my old age and that his work was recognised," Siegel said of the late recognition of his uncle. His services to FC Bayern were "far greater than I ever knew because he never talked about them," the 96-year-old continued. Mederer thanked the presidium and the FC Bayern board "for the trust, the cooperation and the special place we got for this monument. Now Kurt Landauer is sitting here again, life-size, looking at his FC Bayern. Welcome back, Kurt!"