1. FC Köln stands for diversity on and off the pitch. In the FC Charter, the club, members and fans expressly acknowledge acceptance, tolerance and respect – regardless of where you come from, what you believe, your view of the world or sexual identity. “For us, the guiding principle of the Charter also clearly means that we are actively against every form of anti-Semitism,” said FC Vice President, Carsten Wettich. In order to underline this claim, on Tuesday, 1. FC Köln adopted the IHRA’s working definition in the fight against anti-Semitism.
Carsten Wettich announced this on FC’s behalf at a digital event on the initiative of the anti-Semitism commissioner of the state of NRW, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger - together with VfL Bochum, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Fortuna Düsseldorf.
The IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism is as follows: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Carsten Wettich said: “It goes without saying that we agree to this definition - combined with the aim of filling this commitment in practice. There have already been a number of projects at FC in the past and there should be even more in the future. Anti-Semitism is not only a terrible part of German history but, unfortunately, it is still an issue in the present. You can see this, for example, in demonstrations by those who do not believe in Corona, who use anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. We see it as our responsibility to make it very clear: At 1. FC Köln with more than 111,000 members - the largest club in the city with the oldest Jewish community north of the Alps – there is no place for anti-Semitism."
This is what FC and the fans stand for. Not only on German football’s remembrance Matchday and on the club’s diversity Matchdays, but the fans live it. Together, along with the Kölner Fanprojekt and Fans1991 with many activities and events. For example, courses with school children on the subject of anti-Semitism in German fan scenes, raising awareness amongst the academy, workshops such as the FC-Stadionakademie and the Stolpersteinaktionen, city tours through “Jewish Köln” or fan trips to Israel and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In the future, regular trips to memorial sites and closer co-operation with local associations are planned to promote the culture of remembrance.
Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, NRW’s anti-Semitism commissioner, said: “I very much welcome this commitment by the four football clubs, because their engagement against anti-Semitism and for human dignity has a profound effect on all areas of society. This shows that anti-Semitism concerns us all and has no place anywhere in Germany - not in any football stadium or not in a football club.”
Read more about the members of FC’s previous clubs, Sülz 07 and Kölner Ballspiel-Club, who suffered under the Nazi regime.
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