Chelsea Football Club took more than 140 supporters and staff on a trip to Auschwitz on Tuesday as part of its Say No To Antisemitism programme.
Run together with the Holocaust Educational Trust, the trip was organised for groups of fans – who expressed interest in going on the trip – as well as club stewards, staff and guests and included a visit to both the Auschwitz Museum and Birkenau, before concluding with a candle lighting ceremony.
Simon Taylor, Head of the Chelsea Foundation, said: “This important Part of our Say No To Antisemitism campaign has left a deep impression on everyone who attended. It’s an incredibly emotional experience and one people will never forget.
“We are a club based in a multicultural city and we are proud to celebrate our diversity. We want everyone who comes to Stamford Bridge and in our communities to feel welcome and safe, there is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination at Chelsea or in wider society.
“Moving forward we will continue to raise awareness of anti-Semitism and support a wide range of activities to support this work.”
Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with Chelsea Football Club to Say No To Antisemitism. Whether it is in the football stands or on the streets – antisemitism should never be tolerated.
“To stamp it out, we must educate – and there is no better way to educate than seeing first-hand the site where men, women and children were murdered, simply for being Jewish. I have no doubt that for the Chelsea staff, fans and stewards, this visit to the notorious former Nazi concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, is a moving and memorable experience – seeing the pile of shoes, the human hair, the gas chambers, leaves an indelible mark. Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau shows where hatred can ultimately lead.
“The Holocaust was the organised murder of six million Jews from across Europe; communities wiped out, families torn apart. We must never forget it and this crucial initiative led by Chelsea Football Club is a great example of how we can educate about the past to create a better future.”
The second time in as many months the club has visited Poland, they sent over a delegation to March of the Living in April.
Listen to the Jewish Views Podcast: