Bundesliga 2 club St. Pauli made an unusual gesture in a football stadium on Sunday when the 30,000 fans inside the Millerntor-Stadion paid tribute to victims of The Holocaust.
Just before kick-off against visiting Darmstadt, spectators in the ground held a minute’s silence in memory of the millions killed under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. Thousands of black cards were held aloft, some bearing the names of victims, and a banner was unfurled in one of the stands with the legend: “Kein vergeben, kein vergessen (never forgive, never forget).”
On the big screen inside the Millerntor-Stadion 93-year-old Esther Bejarano, a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, spoke of the need to “keep the memory of The Holocaust alive in the present day so that it never happens again.”
St. Pauli honour International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Both sets of players and the match officials took part in the homage, which was staged to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on January 27 every year.
It was on that date in 1945 that Red Army troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1.1 million people were killed during The Holocaust.
On Saturday, fans of St. Pauli, a club with a long tradition of anti-Fascist sentiment, laid a wreath outside the Millerntor-Stadion in memory of supporters of the club who were persecuted by the Nazi regime, among them communists and homosexuals.