Herbert Hainer: Every generation has a heritage

Read article contents
Increase size

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day and remembering the victims of National Socialism, FC Bayern and its members, together with the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria (IKG), held a weekend dedicated to the culture of remembrance that included a Shabbat celebration, stadium visit, and the opening of FC Bayern's newly designed exhibition Venerated – Persecuted – Forgotten. "Our basic idea is 'Remembering together - shaping the future together'," explained president Herbert Hainer during a round of talks with Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community, and sports journalist Marcel Reif in front of 180 invited guests in the Hubert Burda Hall in the premises of the IKG at St.-Jakobs-Platz - "Because remembering alone is not enough.”

President Herbert Hainer commemorated the victims of National Socialism during a round of talks with Dr. Charlotte Knobloch and sports journalist Marcel Reif.

Hainer began by thanking the members of the Jewish Community and especially the president, who had taken over the patronage together with him, on behalf of the club for the invitation. On Friday, 50 members of FC Bayern had been able to mark Shabbat here, he told us, and the name Ohel Jakob Synagogue fit perfectly: "Translated, Ohel Jakob means 'Jacob's tent' – it’s a beautiful image that we’re all gathered here together, under one tent, under one roof. It is a very great honour for us as FC Bayern."

Knobloch said in her welcoming speech that she had been able to get to know Kurt Landauer personally: "He stood for exchange, so let's talk to each other." The host thanked those present who, with their visit, would "set a strong sign against forgetting". Among others, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, the designated deputy chairman of the FCB board Michael Diederich, vice-president Walter Mennekes, administrative advisor Professor Dr. Marion Kiechle as well as Dr. Ludwig Spaenle (antisemitism commissioner of the Bavarian state government) sat in the auditorium. There were also representatives of the fan dialogue working group. Today, too, Jewish people are in the crosshairs of hatred, warned Knobloch, "but the foundation on which everything was built after 1945 is never again. Everything is at stake for a society when the past becomes the present again. Therefore, thanks to FC Bayern for its commitment. Kurt Landauer would be very proud of his club."

Dr. Charlotte Knobloch recalled Kurt Landauer's accomplishments in her welcoming speech.

In his speech, Hainer referred to the sociologist Natan Sznaider, professor at the Academic University in Tel Aviv, who had said in an interview a few days ago that he personally did not believe that the world would get better if one only diligently learned from the past. "This is exactly where we would like to start with this event," said the FCB president: "The National Socialist crimes were also possible because too many people looked the other way. That's why it's crucial today to be active, to get involved and to disagree with radical views so as not to leave any room for manoeuvre here." Remembrance work, he said, "must become a social engine. We want to raise awareness of yesterday's mistakes and fill remembrance work with life in order to contribute to tomorrow's development."

In this sense, "self-criticism is also important - and that one questions oneself again and again", Hainer explained and referred to the new exhibition on the club's history during the Nazi era. The FC Bayern Museum staff have incorporated the findings of the independent study that the club commissioned from the Institute of Contemporary History. The study shows that there were also perpetrators at FC Bayern between 1933 and 1945. "We want to be transparent with this result, because it’s a central part of the culture of remembrance to depict all facets of the past authentically," explained Hainer. "Only in this way can the right conclusions be drawn for the future. Because the point is to come to terms with the past - not to cope with it."

Around 180 people were guests in the Hubert Burda Hall for the commemoration event.

New generations have new questions, Hainer said: "It’s legitimate that knowledge about historical processes changes over time. But that in no way means that their importance diminishes - or the responsibility to do better. Every generation has a heritage - and what is decisive is how it deals with it." The newly designed exhibition therefore also addresses how the club wants to shape the future. "Among other things, we’re committed to our cross-club initiative ‘Reds Against Racism' against discrimination in any form and regularly make socio-political messages for tolerance and cosmopolitanism. Without internalising basic social values, there is always a risk of repetition."

In the subsequent round of talks moderated by IKG director Guy Fränkel, Hainer praised the commitment of the FCB fans, who rendered outstanding services to Landauer's legacy and had once again set a sign of remembrance culture with a banner in memory of Walther Bensemann during the 1-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt. "Let us continue our joint work - under your tent roof and beyond," he said to the members of the Jewish Community, "we look forward to further interaction. Let us shape the future together."


The closing words of the panel, before Knobloch visited the synagogue together with Hainer and FCB player Jovana Damnjanovic conducted a sports programme with children and young people from TSV Maccabi Munich, belonged to the IKG president: "I’m not only satisfied with this event – I’m above all very happy that it took place."

FC Bayern and 1. FC Köln commemorated the victims of the Holocaust ahead of their match on Tuesday:

Topics of this article

Share this article

Related news