Death match! Black History of Ukrainian Football

Death match! Black History of Ukrainian Football
Death match! Black History of Ukrainian Football

Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler, World War II, shown as the bloodiest war in recent world history. It caused World War II. While this war was advancing at the speed of an epidemic on the East and West lines, German armies occupied Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union, in the 1940s. Just like today, dozens of professional football players in those years ended their careers and joined the armies. The players of the teams Dynamo Kyiv, Locomotive Kyiv and Spartak Odessa were now at the front.

Deathmatch, II. It describes the football match played between the Germans and the local team in the summer of 1942 in the Soviet city of Kiev, which was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. In the match, which was organized for propaganda purposes, the Nazis did not encounter the results they expected after their team failed, on the contrary, their defeat strengthened the resistance, and denied the approach that the Germans were regarded as the superior race and the Soviet peoples as inferior people. After the match, many Kiev Soviet football players were sent to concentration camps by the Nazis, and some were shot. Athletes who took part in the Soviet team previously played football in the clubs Dynamo Kyiv, Locomotive Kyiv and Spartak Odessa.

On June 22, 1941, when the Nazis attacked the territory of the Soviet Union as part of Operation Barbarossa, some of the players of Dynamo Kiev were working under the gun in the Red Army. Some players were evacuated from the area. While Afanasyev boarded the last train to Moscow before the fall of Kiev, Livsits, Mahinya, Laiko and Onishenko had already left Kiev before the city fell. Shegotskiy, who was in the position of military drill instructor, was in a situation with the retreating Red Army units.

Red Army soldiers with dynamos soon found themselves prisoners of war. According to the records, Nikolay Trusevic and Kuzmenko were wounded and captured by the Germans. Konstantin Shteppa, who is a pro-fascist and an officer at Kyiv University, learns that the football players are in the Boyar prisoner of war camp. He conveyed the situation to Kyiv City Council official Alexander Oglobin, which was established in coordination with the occupiers, and requested the release of the football players, whom he stated as the foremost talents of Ukrainian athletics. In a short time, the football players who were prisoners of war were released after having signed "loyalty" texts to the Germans and grouped as "Suspect", which is the 4th category according to the Nazi classification.

Events were Held under German Control

Ukraine, belonging to the Soviet Union, was one of the regions that suffered the most from Operation Barbarossa. The Germans began to organize events across the country to soften the atmosphere in the region. Opera, theater and sports organizations were being reorganized. Among these activities, the most popular one was football. In May 1942, a club called FC Start was founded within the "flour factory" in Ukraine. This club, over time, appeared in football matches with the German forces. They were successful in most matches. But their irrepressible success infuriated the Germans.

Beat Rukh 7-2, Germans Disturbed

FC Start, consisting of mostly players from Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotiv Kyiv teams in Ukraine, played its first match against Rukh, which was established with German funds. A German-supported referee was also appointed to the match. However, FC Start won the field with a score of 7-2 amid such impossibilities. Tickets were sold for 5 Ukrainian karbovanets for the match at Spor Palas Stadium. Thousands of football fans had followed the match from the stands. However, for the German officers, FC Start had to be blocked.

Deathmatch: Start 5-1 Flakelf

After the Rukh match, FC Start played a series of matches with mixed teams of German soldiers. All of these competitions kazanthey were. The last match of FC Start was played with Flakelf, which was formed by the personnel of the German Air Force. The SS Officer himself was appointed as the referee for this match. Trusevic, captain of FC Start, gave a speech that motivated his teammates before the match. War veteran Trusevic's emotional speech impressed the team.

During the ceremony, the Flakelf team gave the Nazi salute to the stands. FC Start players did not give this greeting. This event ignited the stands even more. Despite Flakelf leading 1-0 in the first minutes of the match, FC Start closed the first half ahead 3-1. The success of the football players, who did not even have shoes on their feet, against the Germans did not please the Nazis.

The referee of the match, SS Officer, went to the locker room and harshly warned FC Start players. He demanded that they hand over the match to Flakelf. However, FC Start scored 2 more goals in the second half. Although the referee gave 15 minutes of extra time, the score did not change. After this event, dark days would begin for FC Start.

FC Start vs. Rukh Again

To counter the unstoppable popularity of FC Start, the Germans have arranged for another match with Rukh team. However, the result did not change in this match. FC Start swept Rukh, which was established with German support, from the field. As the match ended 8-0, the Nazis stepped in for FC Start.

FC Start football players, who continue their football and factory work together, were caught two days later in the flour factory where they were working. The Gestapo, known as the Nazis' police force, accused FC Start of carrying out "propaganda-like" activities and detained the players in the team. Except for only 3 players, all the players of the team were imprisoned. However, they thought the detention order was unfair. One of the stars of the team, Chachenko was shot on September 8, 1942, for wanting to escape from the prison where he was imprisoned. The remaining players of the team were sent to the concentration camp.

Sent to Concentration Camp

When the Germans did not get the result they expected from the Barbarossa Operation, the execution began in the Babi Yar concentration camp, where thousands of Jews and people from other nationalities took part. During this period, FC Start football players were working in the camp as technicians and cleaners. German Officers executed over 30 people in 2 days, including FC Start football players, after bad news from the front.

When the Germans withdrew from Ukraine towards the end of 1943, the camp where thousands of people were killed along with FC Start football players was taken back by the Soviets. It is known that football players and people in the camp are struggling with hunger, bad conditions and disease.

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