Thursday, April 23, 2009

23 April 1945 - Goodbye And Good Riddance

On 23 April 1945, Bayern Munich defeated 1860 Munich 3-2 in what turned out to be the last recorded match in the Third Reich.

When Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party came to power in 1933, the new regime quickly expanded its control into all areas of German society, including football. The Nazis appointed party member Hans von Tschammer und Osten as the country's ReichssportsfĂĽhrer, placing him in charge of all German sports, including the nation's football teams.

As part of the new Third Reich, the football clubs were required to purge all Jews from their ranks. Thus, in 1933, Bayern's Jewish president, Kurt Landauer (pictured), was forced to resign. He later spent two months in a concentration camp, but escaped Germany in 1939 and fled to Switzerland. In 1940, Bayern visited Landauer in Switzerland as a show of support. He returned to Bayern in 1947. Between 1913 and 1951, he spent approximately 18 years as Bayern's president, giving him the club's longest tenure in that office. There is a street named after him in the Munich suburb of Friemann.

On 2 May 1945, nine days after Bayern's victory over 1860 Munich, Germany unconditionally surrendered, officially ending the Third Reich.

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