Today, January 27, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp. Since 2005, the day has been designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the UN.
In addition to today’s must-watch video as part of Chelsea’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign, the club unveiled a massive mural on the front facade of Stamford Bridge earlier this month, commemorating three football players, two of whom were killed in the concentration camps. Neither Julius Hirsch, nor Árpád Weisz, nor Ron Jones actually played for Chelsea, but this issue extends far beyond the confines of a football stadium.
“Our club, and our club owner Roman Abramovich, believe it is crucially important to honour this anniversary. By sharing the images of these three individual football players on our stadium, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.”
-Bruce Buck; source: Chelsea FC
The Abramovich-funded mural, painted by Solomon Souza (and Christian Pulisic?) is just the latest highly visible (literally) effort from Chelsea to lead the way in this fight. Last week, Chelsea also became the first sports team to officially adopt the IHRA working definition of Antisemitism, with five other clubs following suit since, including West Ham, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Burnley, and Brighton. More will surely follow in the future, including hopefully Tottenham Hotspur.
“It is great that Chelsea are doing things like this and I am very proud to be a player at this club and attend events like this. Football can have a massive impact in areas like discrimination both in England and around the world so it is our job to support campaigns like this and spread that message.
“Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world so the impact we can have on antisemitism and racism is massive and something all the players are proud to support.”
-Ruben Loftus-Cheek; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.