Dynamo versus Germany: Soccer Match of Death

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Sergey Romanov
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Dynamo versus Germany: Soccer Match of Death

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 Jul 2004 20:57

http://www.infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-14.html

Dynamo versus Germany: Soccer Match of Death

Monument in front of Dynamo Stadium in Kiev to Ukrainian soccer players executed by the Germans in Babyn Yar; Ivan Kuzmenko, Mykola Trusevich, Olexiy Klimenko and Mykola Korotkikh. Makar Honcharenko was a survivor. There are different versions of the Death Match, we followed Kuznetsov's version in Babi Yar. The incredible story of the Dynamo soccer club of Kiev, one of Europe's finest, is one of the legendary events of WW II. After Kiev was occupied members of the Dynamo team found work in Kiev Bakery No. 1 and started to play soccer in an empty lot. The Germans offered them the opportunity to train in the Zenith Stadium and then suggested a "friendly" game with a team picked from the German army.

The Ukrainians accepted the offer, named their team Start and posters on June 12, 1942 announced: "Football [Soccer]. Armed Forces of Germany versus Kiev city Start." The Germans, in good physical shape, scored the first goal. Then Dynamo gained its strength and scored a goal. The old talent of Dynamo started to grow and they scored a second goal to the enthusiastic cheers of the Ukrainian spectators. The Germans were furious.

At half time a German officer came from the Commandant's box to the Dynamo dressing room and ordered them "not to play so keenly" and threatened that they would be shot if they do not obey. The fans, completely unaware that the lives of Dynamo were threatened, cheered them on to a score of 4-1 when suddenly the German Commandant of Kiev, Major-General Eberhardt, and his staff left. The referee's whistle ended the game before it was finished.

The Germans then fielded a stronger team on July 17 but it lost 6-0. Two days later Dynamo had a match with the Hungarian team MSG Wal and Dynamo defeated them 5-1 and a rematch on the 26th ended with a score 3-2 for Dynamo. The German administration was outraged and decided that they had to teach the Dynamo Untermensch a lesson. The powerful and "ever victorious" German Flakelf team was invited. But this German team also lost to Dynamo and not a word about it appeared in the newspapers.

The Ukrainian team was given three days to think about their position and on August 9th there was a "friendly" rematch. In spite of the pressure Dynamo again in its fifth game defeated the German team -- for the last time. Most of the Ukrainian team members were arrested and executed in Babyn Yar, but they are not forgotten. There is a monument to them in Kiev and their heroism inspired the film Victory starring Sylvester Stallone and Pele.

Image

Monument in front of Dynamo Stadium in Kiev to Ukrainian soccer players executed by the Germans in Babyn Yar; Ivan Kuzmenko, Mykola Trusevich, Olexiy Klimenko and Mykola Korotkikh. Makar Honcharenko was a survivor. There are different versions of the Death Match, we followed Kuznetsov's version in Babi Yar.


Babij Jar Sonderkommando Zakhar Trubakov also describes the "death match", albeit quite differently, in his memoir "The Secret of Babij Jar". There's a whole chapter called "The Truth about the Death Match". According to him, the soccer players were not executed in Babij Jar, it's a legend.

According to Trubakov, Nikolaj Trusevich worked at the bakery no. 1, and played soccer in the evenings with his friends. Germans learned about it and offered him to gather a team to take part in the opening of the stadium at Bolhaja Vasil'kovskaja st. 51 (now - "Tsentral'nyj" stadium).

On July 12, 1942 there was the first match. The team consisting of the members of the different clubs (Dynamo, TsDKA, etc.; it wasn't just Dynamo) easily won. Germans didn't make fuss, just set a stronger team against them on July 17. And lost again. Then there were two matches with Hungarians, they lost both times.

Then there was a match on August 6, 1942. "Dynamo", as the team was called in the Nazi newspapers, played against the German Luftwaffe team. That happened on a small stadium in the center of the city (now it's called "Start").

Nikolaj Trusevich, with whom Trubakov talked in the Syretskij camp, told him the story in detail. The first goal was scored by the Germans. The judge was on the side of Germans and tried to make obstacles to the Ukrainian team. Nevertheless, near the end of the first time the score was 2:1 for the Ukranians. By that time fans were brave enough to shout "Germans are being beaten!". Some Germans on the tribunes began to shoot in the air.

During the break some officer came into the Ukrainians' room and commended them on their game, but warned that they should lose the next match if they wish to live. After the officer left, the majority of the team players agreed that they should play fairly.

They scored the first goal in the second time, then Luftwaffe team scored two goals. But in the end the Ukrainian team won 5:3.

Three days later there was another game at "Zenit" stadium. Ukrainians won again, 3:0. On August 16 they played against the team of Ukrainian nationalists "Rukh" and won 8:0. All in all they won 7 matches. Only after that the Germans decided that enough is enough, and sent the 4 (only 4!) players to the Syretskij camp (Klimenko, Trusevich, Kuz'menko and Korotkih).

There Trubakov met them. They were assigned to building the garage for Gestapo at Korolenko st. 33 among the 120 others ("the hundred"). Once "the hundred" did not return in time. They returned after less than an hour. Sturmbannfuehrer Radomsky ordered Polizeis to let them in. They were standing before the line of the Syretskij camp prisoners while the translator was telling that they were plotting against gestapo but were caught. Because of that every third person in a "hundred" was to be shot.

Soccer players were put into the line in such a way that they were among those to be shot. Then there was an order: "Every third person - step forward!". All in all 40 people had to step forward. They were ordered to lie down in rows. At that time Trusevich turned to the prisoners and shouted: "Hail the Soviet sports!".

Von Radomsky shot him immediately, emptying his gun of bullets. Polizeis then shot the rest.

According to those of the workers who were left alive, the prisoners were executed because after the work was finished and the prisoners were leaving the yard, the Gestapo chief arrived in his car and Immediately his dog attacked the prisoners. In the ensuing chaos somebody accidentally pushed the Gestapo chief and he tore his overcoat. That's why 40 innocents were shot. And von Radomsky made sure that the "rebellious" soccer players were among the executed.
Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 27 Jul 2004 21:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 27 Jul 2004 21:03

Interested readers may enjoy this previous thread on the subject:

viewtopic.php?p=327801

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Post by David Thompson » 29 Jul 2004 06:06

Re: SS-Sturmbannfueher Paul Radomski.

From Mark Mazower’s Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation 1941-1944, Yale University Press, New Haven and London: 1993, pp. 229-30; p. 227.

The stocky, uneducated Radomski had a violent past stretching back many years: fatherless from a young age, he had been one of the `first Hamburg SS men', fighting Leftists on the streets alongside Himmler's future deputy Reinhard Heydrich — or so he claimed. He had served a prison sentence during the Weimar Republic for his part in the murder of a left-wing opponent, and was an early recruit into the SS, with an exceptionally low SS membership number. With such a background he was well qualified for the killing fields of the East, where he served at a POW camp in Stettin and then, on Heydrich's personal orders, as an SD commander in Kiev, before travelling south. In 1942, shortly before taking up the Kiev post, he was described in glowing terms by his superiors as `always ready for action, energetic and made of iron'.
This judgement, however, was to be radically revised, for in Greece Radomski's penchant for violence eventually ran so far out of control that it led to his dismissal. The reason, needless to say, had nothing to do with his treatment of the inmates. On 17 February 1944, after drunken birthday carousing with several other officers, he lost all self-control, and in a moment of rage threatened

229

The Logic of Violence and Terror: 1943—44

to shoot his own adjutant for mislaying his room keys. `You'll not see your family again, I'm going to shoot you!', he screamed at the man as other officers stood by.[167]

Having committed the serious error of mistreating a fellow-SS man, Radomski was suspended from duty and brought before an SS tribunal, which rather belatedly now assessed him as a `very primitive man, without any education or suitability for leadership'. The judge, SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Wehser, described him unequivocally as `primitive in all his thoughts and feelings'. Radomski's ill-treatment of the prisoners in Haidari had no bearing on the tribunal's deliberations. For the crime of mistreating a subordinate he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. However, the six months he had served for a political killing in 1932 were put to his credit, and allowed to cancel out his current sentence. He was simply demoted and placed under a three-year alcohol ban, before being assigned by Eichmann's office to Riga, where his trail peters out. At Haidari he was replaced as commandant by an Austrian officer called Lieutenant Fischer, who appears to have soon become equally feared and hated by the inmates.[168]


Describing Haidai camp, outside of Athens:

The SS and the Terror System

The prison guards punished any infringement of the camp's numerous regulations with beatings and whippings, or by unleashing their dogs. Sometimes they inflicted punishments en masse for no obvious reason: once, guards threw all the prisoners' belongings out of the windows, confiscated valuable items and burned the rest. As one former inmate recalled: `It was all part of the degradation of camp life, every cruel detail, every humiliation was thought out and was there.'[161]

This was due, in no small measure, to its commandant, Sturmbannführer Paul Radomski, who had brought the murderous values of the Eastern Front to Greece. Radomski had not been in Greece long when, on 26 October 1943, a certain Constantine Vatikiotis and his wife were arrested by the SS in their central Athens apartment and sent via the Averoff prison with a batch of other inmates to Haidari. In a postwar statement, Vatikiotis describes how Radomski introduced himself to them by shooting one of the new arrivals – a Jewish army officer – on the spot:

Upon arriving at Haidari, during the afternoon roll-call, the Governor called the interpreter and handed him a paper; he then ordered the unhappy prisoner, who stood next to me, to advance towards him. After lashing the prisoner's face with a whip, he turned to the interpreter and told him to read aloud the written order.

The interpreter read as follows:
`The Governor of Haidari, Major Radomski, will personally execute before you the prisoner named Levy, for attempting to escape on the day of his arrest. Beware! The same fate awaits you in such a case.'


A shudder of horror went through us all. The terrible Governor then proceeded to carry out his threat. He drew his revolver and fired at the unhappy man, who crumpled to the earth in a bloody heap. His German assassin then calmly ordered us to remove him. But, before we had had time to lift the man, the Governor fell upon us and began to lash at us with his whip. Then, tearing his victim out of our hands, he fired at him once more and ordered us to remove the man's shoes. They were new, and consequently, a good prize.[162]

The purpose of such actions, as a team of Greek psychologists , pointed out after the war, was not to punish those responsible for offences, nor to prevent further crimes. The aims of the terror system – throughout occupied Europe – were more far-reaching: to extinguish the will and the imagination of the subject population. Hence, the conditions in the camp and the behaviour of the guards were designed to put the inmates in constant fear of their lives.[163]


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Post by Sergey Romanov » 29 Jul 2004 09:48

Wow, thanks, David! That confirms Sonderkommandos' descriptions to a tee.

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Post by Peter » 25 Sep 2006 14:40

RADOMSKI Paul

Born 21 Sep 1902

SS - 2 235
NSDAP - 96 942

Ustuf 20 Apr 34
Oct 34 DAL = 28 Sta.(Hamburg)
Jul 35 DAL = 28 Sta
Ostuf 20 Jul 35
Dec 36 DAL = Stammabt.Bez.28
Dec 37 DAL = 28 Sta
Hstuf in 1939
Dec 38 DAL = 28 Sta.
Stettin
SD Kiev
Stubaf 30 Jan 42
SD Haidari/Greece
Oct 44 DAL = 28 Sta.

His only known decorations are the GPB and what I think is the Nurnberg badge.

Does anybody have anything on his fate ?

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Post by Landser » 29 Sep 2006 05:10

I recently toured the Ukraine and this particular question about the famous games came up with our tour guide.By the way she was politicly very active and supported the Russian faction of the ongoing political struggle in the Ukraine.
And according to her this is largely a soviet propaganda myth and legend about the shootings.
There were two former soccer players ecxecuted much later on, but only for terrorist reasons.

BTW Years ago on the old TR board this subject was put to rest when Reigo ,the Estonian,had a Ukrainian
newspaper editor give the historical facts,and yes he gave his name and credentials.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 30 Sep 2006 09:55

Landser wrote:I recently toured the Ukraine and this particular question about the famous games came up with our tour guide.By the way she was politicly very active and supported the Russian faction of the ongoing political struggle in the Ukraine.
And according to her this is largely a soviet propaganda myth and legend about the shootings.
There were two former soccer players ecxecuted much later on, but only for terrorist reasons.

BTW Years ago on the old TR board this subject was put to rest when Reigo ,the Estonian,had a Ukrainian
newspaper editor give the historical facts,and yes he gave his name and credentials.


Not that a tour guide's opinion means anything. But there might be a core of truth in claims that the football players weren't shot just because they won, etc.

"Dynamo" was created and supported by NKVD. It is implausible to think that this fact didn't play any role in what has happened. Which is not to say that this was any excuse.

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Post by michael mills » 02 Oct 2006 02:14

It seems that this Soviet-ersa myth simply will not go away.

On 18 March last year, I posted a message containing the truth behind the myth. I will report here the essential part of that message.

That likely truth is found in the book "Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule", by Karel C Berkhoff, published in 2004 by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Berkhoff's book is neither pro-German nor pro-Soviet, and obviously the Harvard University Press would not publish an apologia for the German occupation.

Here is the relevant passage in the book, in the chapter "Popular Culture" (pp. 202-203):


Sports played a small role in people's lives. Initially, Melnykites [ = supporters of one of the two factions into which the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists was split] in Kiev created the Sich, a sporting organisation that was used to stimulate Ukrainian nationalism. The German authorities quickly suppressed it. As for individual sports, some boxing matches are known to have taken place in Kiev in July and August 1942, but swimming in the Dnieper River in Kiev was banned from September 4, 1942. The only sport that received permission to undergo some organisaed development was football. In one Left Bank district, there were regular football games between Ukrainians and Germa soldiers even though the district commissar [= the local representative of the German civilian administration] told the local [Wehrmacht] commander angrily that German-Ukrainian sporting events were not allowed.

In 1942, several football teams competed in the Zenit stadium at 24 Kerosynna Street in Kiev. The team called Rukh was apparently the successor to the Sich and perhaps included Schuma [= members of the Ukrainian auxiliary police recruited by the German occupiers]. Start and Almaz, two other teams, were made up of players who worked at the bread and the jewelry factories. From June 1942, Start played four matches against German teams (antiaircraft gunners, pilots and railroad employees) and three against Hungarian teams, thereby attracting German, Hungarian and Kievan spectators. Natives and Hungarians paid five karbovantsi for each occasion. Start played its ninth and final match on Sunday, August 16, when it routed Rukh eight to zero. Two days ater, the [German] Security Police arrrested eight Start players and accused them of being NKVD agents. The charge was not entirely groundless, for many Start players had been in Soviet Ukraine's leading soccer team, Dynamo Kiev, which Ukraine's NKVD had sponsored (other People's Commissariats sponsored other teams): and during the German invasion, at least one of the players had worked for the NKVD as a car mechanic. Twenty-four days later, all but one of the arrested were sent to Syrets concentration camp near Babi Yar, where four of them eventually were shot. The other three Start players escaped, two thanks to police guards at a shoe factory where they were working, who deliberately looked the other way.

Berkhoff's quoted sources:

1. NDB (= Naukovo-dovidkova bibloioteka tsentral'nykh derzhavnykh arkhiviv Ukrainy = Scholarly Reference Library of the Central State Archives of Ukraine, Kiev), collection "Afishy ta plakaty okupatsiinoho periodu", 297-298sa, 300-301sa, 303-306sa, 729-732sa;

2. Nove Ukrains'ke Slovo (= the Reichskommissariat's one daily newspaper, originally published by Melnykites in Zhytomyr, later taken over by the German occupation authorities ), August 18,1942, 4;

3. TsDAHOU (= Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv hromads'kykh ob''iednan' Ukrainy = Central State Archives of Civic Organisations of Ukraine, Kiev), f. 166 (Komisiia z pytan' istorii velykoi vitchyznianoi viiny pry akademii nauk URSR. Obshchaia chast'), op. 3, 246/9-14: Sviridovskii;

4. D M Malakov, ed., Kyiv 1941-1943; Fotoal'bom (Kiev, 2000), 173;

5. Oleksander Skotsen', Z futbolom u svit: Spomyny (Toronto, 1985), 258, 277-280.





So it would appear that the urban legend of heroic Soviet soccer-players defying the Gestapo was born out of a number of facts that were grotesquely distorted for propaganda purposes.

Those facts are:

- There was a soccer team called "Start", containing many former members of the team "Dynamo Kiev".

- The team "Start" did play a series of matches against teams consisting of German and Hungarian personnel.

- At the last match played by "Start", on 16 August 1942, it convincingly defeated the opposing team.

- Eight members of "Start" were arrested by the German Security Police two days after that last match, and taken to Syrets concentration camp.

- Four of those arrested were eventually shot.

The elements of falsification are:

- The last match played by "Start", which it won 8-0, was against a German team. In fact, it was against another Ukrainian team, "Rukh".

(It may well be that "Start" was linked in the public mind with the Soviet system, given that many of its players were from the NKVD-sponsored "Dynamo Kiev", while "Rukh" was linked with the anti-Soviet Ukrainian nationalists, so that the match was interpreted as a victory of Communism over Ukranian nationalism, and that that "victory" was transmuted in Soviet propaganda into a victory over the German occupiers).

- The eight members of "Start" were arrested because they won the last match. In fact they were arrested for being NKVD agents, a charge that may have been true given the NKVD sponsorship of "Dynamo Kiev".

It is to be hoped that the facts outlined in the book by Berkhoff will put an end to the fable of the heroic Dynamo soccer-players.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 02 Oct 2006 14:58

Note that Trubakov correctly describes the game against "Rukh", including 8:0 count.

It is also ridiculous to suppose that the players were arrested only because of their associations with NKVD, just as it is ridiculous to think that this fact played no role.

Numerous games before the arrest surely show that for a long time the Nazis didn't see their (alleged) NKVD associations as worthy of an arrest.

It is more likely that when the Soviet football players kicked occupiers' asses so many times, the Nazis thought that enough is enough, and used the NKVD ties as a cover for arrests.

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Post by Landser » 02 Oct 2006 21:25

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Post by Landser » 03 Oct 2006 00:58

Landser wrote:Sergej:

Your pre-conceived perception of old commi propaganda myth is still firmly rooted in your brain,apparently.
Your vivid imagination has little or no bounds. Try the Hollywood route,they're likely easier to convince!!! :D :D :D



NKVD- Stalin's henchmen of millions of victims.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD

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Post by michael mills » 03 Oct 2006 02:24

As I wrote, it appears that certain persons with a nostalgia for the glory days of the former Soviet Union simply cannot give up the myths of that period.

The reasons why eight members of the "Start" football team were arrested and seven of them sent to Syrets concentration camp can be reconstructed on the basis of the balance of probabilities.

As stated, the "Start" team consisted of employees of a bread factory. Another team, "Almaz", consisted of employees of a jewelfy factory. It seems that it was common practice under German occupation for football teams to be formed from perosn with a common interest, eg employees of a particular company.

The reason why the "Start" team was so good was that many of its members were professional soccer players, having previously been members of "Dynamo Kyiv", which had been sponsored by the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR, while the mmebers of other teams were amateurs. It appears that those former "Dynamo" players were using their employment at the bread factory as a means of escaping the attention of the German Security Police, which would have been interested in them becauseof their NKVD connection.

It is quite possible that when "Start" began playing, the German authorities knew it only as a team made up of employees of the bread factory, and were unaware of the background of some of its members.

It is also possible that when "Start" began to make a name for itself, word began to circulate about the previous status of some of its players as members of "Dynamo", and eventually reached the ears of the German authorities.

Presumably, it was when the Security Police became aware of the identity of some of the "Start" players and their NKVD connection, that it moved to arrest them. The most obvious motivation for the arrest was that persons with an NKVD connection (including one of them having worked as a mechanic for the NKVD) were working in a bread factory, a sensitive area where they were in a position to sabotage the food supply to the city if they were so inclined.

It may well be that the connection of most of the eight arrested players to the NKVD was purely nominal, but the German authorities were not to know that. One of the arrested men was released, suggesting that the Security Police must have carried out some sort of investigation to determine the nature of the men's relationship with the NKVD, and determined that the released man was not a security risk.

If the eight players were arrested because they had persisted in beating teams connected with the German occupiers, why was one not sent to Syrets? Because he had not played as well as the others, and hence was less "guilty" of beating the favoured teams? Unlikely.

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Post by BrankoB. » 13 Jan 2007 12:30

michael mills wrote:As I wrote, it appears that certain persons with a nostalgia for the glory days of the former Soviet Union simply cannot give up the myths of that period.

The reasons why eight members of the "Start" football team were arrested and seven of them sent to Syrets concentration camp can be reconstructed on the basis of the balance of probabilities.

As stated, the "Start" team consisted of employees of a bread factory. Another team, "Almaz", consisted of employees of a jewelfy factory. It seems that it was common practice under German occupation for football teams to be formed from perosn with a common interest, eg employees of a particular company.

The reason why the "Start" team was so good was that many of its members were professional soccer players, having previously been members of "Dynamo Kyiv", which had been sponsored by the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR, while the mmebers of other teams were amateurs. It appears that those former "Dynamo" players were using their employment at the bread factory as a means of escaping the attention of the German Security Police, which would have been interested in them becauseof their NKVD connection.

It is quite possible that when "Start" began playing, the German authorities knew it only as a team made up of employees of the bread factory, and were unaware of the background of some of its members.

It is also possible that when "Start" began to make a name for itself, word began to circulate about the previous status of some of its players as members of "Dynamo", and eventually reached the ears of the German authorities.

Presumably, it was when the Security Police became aware of the identity of some of the "Start" players and their NKVD connection, that it moved to arrest them. The most obvious motivation for the arrest was that persons with an NKVD connection (including one of them having worked as a mechanic for the NKVD) were working in a bread factory, a sensitive area where they were in a position to sabotage the food supply to the city if they were so inclined.

It may well be that the connection of most of the eight arrested players to the NKVD was purely nominal, but the German authorities were not to know that. One of the arrested men was released, suggesting that the Security Police must have carried out some sort of investigation to determine the nature of the men's relationship with the NKVD, and determined that the released man was not a security risk.

If the eight players were arrested because they had persisted in beating teams connected with the German occupiers, why was one not sent to Syrets? Because he had not played as well as the others, and hence was less "guilty" of beating the favoured teams? Unlikely.



I know this is an old topic, but I just couldn't leave the last post unanswered.
This is not a Soviet myth, but a Ukrainian tragic story about the death of four people during those perilous days. We know for a fact that the game took place, we know for a fact FC Start won all of the games played and we know for a fact that the four players from that team were executed during the war by the hand of the Nazi regime not long after the so-called “The Game of Death” was played. Even you agree on that. There’s nothing mythical to it except the details concerning some aspects of the story, especially their deaths and their political orientation as well as their possible involvement with the NKVD.

So, with all your speculations, what are you trying to prove here? That they were killed for a legitimate reason? That Nazis executed them after a fair trial? That they got what they deserve? What?

By the way, not that it matters (for the story at least), but Soviet Union didn’t have professional sportsmen in those days, therefore, your description of Ukrainian players as being “professionals” is incorrect. Besides, they were certainly malnourished and by that time physically completely inferior to the well fed, well dressed and healthy German airmen.

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Post by michael mills » 13 Jan 2007 13:47

BrankoB,

Please calm down.

The question is not whether a series of football matches was won by the Start team.

The question is whether any one of those matches can be called a "match of death", or whether that appellation rests on a falsification of the historical facts.

The historical facts are:

1. The Start team, consisting of employees of a bread factory, some of whom had been professional soccer players, members of Dinamo Kyiv, played a series of matches against amateur teams, some consisting of German and Hungarian personnel and one consisting of Ukrainian nationalists, and won them all; and

2. Eight members of the Start team, all former members of Dinamo Kyiv, were arrested shortly after the last match, played against a team of Ukrainian nationalists; one was released, the other seven were incarcerated in the Syrets Concentration Camp, where four were eventually shot in the course of a reprisal for an escape attempt, while the other three successfully escaped.

The concept of a "match of death" arose from the unsubstantiated claim that the arrest of eight members of Start was due to their having dared to beat a German team.

In fact, the arrest of those men was most probably due to their suspected links to the NKVD, which had sponsored the Dinamo Kyiv team, coupled with the sensitive nature of their work in a bread factory, where they were in a position to sabotage the food supply if they were indeed active NKVD agents (which they might have been, but probably were not).

Since the question of "what we know" (presumably meaning what Ukrainians know) has been raised, perhaps BrankoB could tell us what Ukrainians think of the "Rukh" team which was beaten by Start in its last match, and what they think of the Ukrainian nationalist sporting association "Sich", which had been banned by the German authorities.

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Post by BrankoB. » 13 Jan 2007 14:09

Dear Mr. Mills,
I am calm.

According to the information I found here;
http://www.hyperhistory.org/index.php?o ... 14&op=page

"At first the Soviet authorities had recognised no myth about FC Start. This was in spite of the apparent heroism of the players in 1942 and despite the Ukrainian view of the important part FC Start had played in maintaining morale amongst local people under Nazi occupation. The post-war Stalinist Minister of Sport in Ukraine, Timofei Strokach, suppressed the story. In the Soviet Union, only state-sponsored acts of heroism were supported. For the Stalinist authorities, FC Start's defiance of the Nazis was a problem on three counts. First, the footballers had actually agreed to play in the Nazi-organised league - possible collaboration. Second, their decision to beat the Germans was a spontaneous act and not approved by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - this kind of individualism was a bourgeois tendency. Third, they were Ukrainians.

It was not until several years after Stalin's death, in a 1959 Ukrainian book titled The Final Duel, that official recognition of FC Start's heroic act was granted..."

Answer me this, please, if they actually were NKVD agents (or in any way related to the underground movement), why would this story be untold and suppressed for so many years?

P.S. To moderator- Is it possible for this thread to be merged with the "Dynamo 1942" thread.
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