Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt have taken back an honorary title given to their former president after discovering he was a former Nazi who was in the SS.
The move comes after it was revealed that the club’s former president Rudolf Gramlich who died in 1988 had served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He also managed to obtain a leather firm from German Jews who were deported and later died and therefore profited from the crimes of the Third Reich.
He was twice the president of the German side, who are currently ninth in the Bundesliga, serving first between 1938-42 and then for a second term between 1955-70, an appointment that came despite the fact that he was an SS officer from 1939-40 which would have made him a relatively senior figure in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Gramlich was the president when Frankfurt won the German championship for the first time in 1959.
The decision to have him removed follows a campaign by Eintracht’s Frankfurt President Peter Fischer, 63, who has pledged to fight against racism and right-wing extremism and has now extended that in order to tackle stains on the club’s reputation because of its Nazi history.
Gramlich was a former player who captained Germany in 10 international matches in the 1930s and was in charge of the national team when the German capital Berlin staged the 1936 Olympic Games.
Other honours include the fact that he was later made honorary president at Eintracht and an honorary member at the German Football Association (DFB) in 1975.
The move to take back the honorary title happened yesterday as the world today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
In line with this, the German Football Association (DFB) has organised a “Remembrance Day” with several events to also pay tribute to victims of the Holocaust.
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