Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Soccer Fans Heil Hitler On Holocaust Remembrance Day In London

Another football game between European teams, another display of Naziism from one team’s fans.

On a cloudy day at London’s Emirate’s Stadium, disgruntled Valencia fans protested their team’s inability to win their football game by screaming and making Nazi salutes.

In footage posted to Twitter by Spanish football show La Liga Lowdown, jeering Valencia fans at Wednesday’s game beat their chests, performed Nazi salutes, and used their fingers to mimic Hitler’s mustache, in a display of animosity against Arsenal supporters.

It’s not an uncommon occurrence from football fans, though in this case the hate-filled gestures were made on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In December 2018, Belgian fans sang merry, rhyming chants about burning Jews It’s a refrain that’s surfaced regularly since 2015 — “In some cases, fans chant it to taunt counterparts from rival teams that are seen as historically Jewish,” — the JTA wrote at the time.

An Italian soccer club, Lazio, derided fans as the opposing team as “Jews,” using pictures of Anne Frank as tools of their mockery. Italy’s soccer federation responded by implementing moments of silence before games and reading portions of Frank’s diary before games in the immediate aftermath of the hate events.

London has its fair share of recent incidents, too. “I’ve got foreskin, how about you? F****** Jew,” Chelsea fans chanted in 2016, when their team played Tottenham Hotspur, a club with a sizable Jewish following. Liverpool fans called Tottenham followers “Jewish c**ts” in footage from a game in 2018. And fans of the same team were bombarded by anti-Semitic chants by West Ham supporters in footage captured just this April.

Yet the opposite, too can be true — in Germany, soccer clubs take it upon themselves to organize anti-hate teach-ins, focusing on the Jewish soccer fans who were murdered during the Holocaust. In fact, before World War II, Jews dominated soccer as athletes in Austria and Hungary. Hungary’s MTK Budapest is still known as a “Jewish” club, Dave Rich reported for the Forward in January 2018.

La Liga Lowdown reports that a spokesperson for Valencia has pledged to “take action” against the fans who made the hateful display in London.

Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.