Jewish News has teamed up with Chelsea Football Club has to launch an exhibition honouring Jewish Olympic athletes murdered in the Holocaust.
The 49 Flames initiative, composed of portraits illustrated by British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza, tells the extraordinary stories of 15 sports-men and women who perished during the Shoah.
The Blues’ manager Frank Lampard, who introduced the virtual exhibition in a video made by the club alongside Emma Hayes, the Chelsea Women’s manager, said it “brings back some of the darkest moments of our history, and reminds us that all parts of society, including Sport, were affected”.
The initiative tells the stories of cousins Alfred and Gustav Felix Flatow, German Jewish Gold medallists at the first modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896, who both died of starvation in Theresienstadt.
It recalls the plight of German Jewish track and field athlete Lilli Henoch, who set 4 world records and won 10 German national championships, in four different disciplines. In 1942, Lilli and her mother were deported to Riga where they both perished.
It shines a light on chess player Salo Landau, Roman Kantor a Polish Olympic épée fencer and world champion table tennis player Gertrude Kleinova.
It also features contributions from Holocaust educators, Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin, human rights activist Natan Sharansky, the government’s antisemitism adviser Lord John Mann, and Holocaust survivor Sir Ben Helfgott, a champion weightlifter who captained the British Olympic team.
This comes after Chelsea, with the backing of its Israeli-Russian owner Roman Abramovich, launched a campaign in January 2018 called ‘Say No To Antisemitism’.
As part of its initiative to root out racism at the club, it sent a delegation to the March of the Living in Poland, played a fixture against New England Revolution in the US to raise money for causes fighting antisemitism, and agreed to host a conference on tackling Jew-hatred.
In march of this year, a 12-metre mural by Souza was displayed at the club’s home ground, Stamford Bridge, depicting three former footballers who were imprisoned by the Nazis, including Julius Hirsch, the first German Jew to be capped by his country – before he was murdered in Auschwitz, British prisoner of war Ron Jones and Hungarian, Arpad Weisz.
Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea, said: “Sports has an enormous power to unite people and by sharing the stories of these athletes, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.”
Emma Hayes, Manager Chelsea FC Women’s manager backed the project, saying: “This is so important as we know that sport has not been immune to the horrors of the past. This exhibition brings back some of the darkest moments of our history.
“We see the Holocaust through the eyes of male and female athletes from around the world. The stories of Jewish athletes such as Lilli Henoch, Anna Dresden-Polak and Gertrude Kleinova remind us why we as a club and individual sports professionals can never take our freedoms for granted.
Last month, Hayes interviewed Ruth Bourne, a Jewish veteran who worked at Bletchley Park, which was instrumental in deciphering the Nazis’ secret ‘enigma’ code.
Chelsea was among 19 clubs – in addition to the Premier League itself – to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, last week. Only Sheffield United declined to back the move.
Visit the virtual exhibit here: https://www.49flames.com/exhibition
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.
- Chelsea Football Club
- Frank Lampard
- Emma Hayes
- Alfred and Gustav Flatow
- András Székely
- Anna Dresden-Polak
- Judikje Simons
- Antal Vágó
- Attila Petschauer
- Bronisław "Bronek" Czech
- Eddy Hamel
- Gertrude Kleinova
- Lilli Henoch
- Lion van Minden
- Oscar Gerde
- Otto Herschmann
- Roman Józef Kantor
- Salo Landau
- Victor "Young" Perez
By Joe Millis