The Death Match: Dynamo Kiev Vs The Nazis (1942)

Discussion in 'Soccer History' started by robledo, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. robledo

    robledo Member

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    incredible story and well worth a read

    would post just the link but just encase the link expires, I`ve pasted the story

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/55771-the-death-match-dynamo-kiev-vs-the-nazis-a-brief-history

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    This is a true story that I was told by my father. It has inspired athletes, film makers, children, and sports fans around the world—but most of all it inspired a nation.

    In 1942 during the height of World War II, the German army steam rolled across Europe. War was waged on many fronts. France, Britain, Northern Africa were all close to falling to German rule. But Hitler wanted to prove he was the greatest military general of all time, so he focused attentions towards Russia.

    As the Nazi forces swept through Eastern Europe on their conquest they eventually came to the Ukraine. Wermacht forces crushed any resistance, while the Luftwaffe bombed from above. The Germans rolled into the city of Kiev with little or no resistance.

    All the citizens were rounded up and forced to listen to the German military decree themselves their new rulers. It was here that Major General Eberhardt decided that the population were too great to police and he decided on a plan to placate the people of Kiev.

    His idea was to stage a football match between a German team and Ukranian Champions Dynamo Kiev. During the occupation, the Kiev team had been rounded up by a soccer mad Wermacht officer and he had decided to spare their lives when all other citizens of a certain public stature were being executed.

    During this first match things did not go as Eberhardt had planned. And despite not having trained for many months because of the war the Ukranians skill shone through. Kiev led 1-0 at half time, and received a half time speech from Eberhardt telling them they would be executed if they did not lose. Kiev went out to the second half and buoyed by a stadium full of Ukranians they went on to win 4-1.

    Nobody was executed but news of this defeat had reached Eberhardt's superiors. They insisted on a re-match. The Kiev players were banned from training and their rations reduced. And five days later they took to the field against a stronger Nazi select team.

    Kiev again were threatened with execution, but they paid it no heed and recorded a resounding 6-0 victory.

    Under extreme pressure, Eberhardt brought in a professional team from Hungary; MSG Wal. As they were Nazi sympathisers they had continued their professional training throughout the war. They were brought to Kiev to restore Nazi pride and to put the Kiev team where they belonged.

    This was a malnourished untrained Kiev team's third match in seven days. And this time it was against a professional outfit. Undaunted by what faced them, Kiev won 5-1 and then 3-2 five days later.

    The Kiev players knew they had to win every match because their lives depended on it. They knew that the arrogant Wermacht officers would want to win the match and not make martyrs of the players. So this time unbeaten German team Flakelf were brought in to restore pride.

    On August 6th 1942, Dynamo Kiev took to the field against the unbeaten Luftwaffe team of Flakelf. The match was played in front of a stadium of entirely German soldiers. No Ukranians were allowed to even be near the stadium on the day.

    The Dynamo Kiev players were warned before the match. Lose and they would be spared. Win and face execution.

    Kiev won 3-2.

    As the winning goal went in, members of the SS in parts of the stadium began taking pot shots at the Kiev players. After the game Kiev waited in the dressing room accepting their fate.

    But Eberhardt did not come in. Instead a Gestapo officer informed them they would be given one more chance to lose. A match had been arranged for four days time against another German team, Rukh.

    Kiev went into this match knowing it would be their last. Win or lose. National pride was at stake and they knew that they could inspire the Ukranian people to face this occupation with their heads held high.

    Dynamo Kiev played the match of their lives. They won 8-0.

    After the match they were rounded up by the Gestapo. Some were tortured. Some were executed. Some were sent to concentration camps. None survived.

    Kiev had inspired when others would have wilted.


  2. Deise Boy

    Deise Boy New Member

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    Two books available from Amazon , one called Dynamo , tragedy and triumph in nazi occupied Kiev the other Defending the honour of Kiev.
    I have read the latter - very moving !
  3. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

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    Sadly, Hollywood decided not to make a movie that was true to the story and turned the heros into Western European.
  4. nekkibasara

    nekkibasara Member+

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    Is that the one with charles bronson, where they play american football?


  5. Emperor_Norton

    Emperor_Norton Member

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    Actually "Escape to Victory" wasn`t modelled after this story, but after a Hungarian movie...

    I find it rather strange that the myth of the death match is still taken seriously...A match took place - yes. The Ukrainian team won against a German team. And a few months later 4 players were killed, but these deaths were not related to that match.

    But the rest of the story is a product of Soviet propaganda...

    Jonathan Wilson, the famous Guardian columnist even suggests that some sort of collaboration took place between the Ukrainian and the German team...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/mar/11/europeanfootball.sport1
  6. start

    start New Member

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    I know for sure Start was threatened by Nazi commander and 3 players survived
  7. ChelseaForTheCup(s)

    ChelseaForTheCup(s) New Member

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    Perfect Hollywood story. I have a hard time believing it though.
  8. neekslamb

    neekslamb New Member

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    Thats crazy. Can't believe it
  9. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

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    That version of the story is clearly bs.

    It is known that in 1942 a Ukrainian factory team played against a Luftwaffe selection. On this team there were some immersed former Dynamo Kiev players. The Ukrainian team, who had played against other German military teams before, won the game. A week later 8 of the players were arrested and probably died in captivity. It's unclear if this was related to the game - the players (or at least some, not sure at the moment) were also officers of the Soviet secret police (as Dynamo was the team of the secret police).

    The game was heavily featured in Soviet propaganda, but it's hard to tell how much of it is true.
  10. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

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    As far as I know it's not been proven that it's completely untrue either, but I must say I haven't really looked into the details. It would be quite hard to do so either way, I assume, as it's unlikely that there are any conclusive sources.
  11. Voodoo United

    Voodoo United Member

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    Does anybody have a list of books written on this match?

    I would love to read more on this, it's such an amazing story of tragedy and struggle, it put alot things in perspective for me on the very little I've read
  12. Daei_10

    Daei_10 Member+

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    i dont believe this. lol sounds exaggerated like the greek stories about their wars against persians.
  13. napolisoccer

    napolisoccer Member

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    Great story !!!
  14. dustcowpoke

    dustcowpoke Member

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    Story sounds too good to be true (as far as football results)
  15. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Outside the Lines did an episode on this just recently.

    It was a bit overwrought (the narrator could have been a bit less dramatic), but it revealed parts of the story I didn't know.
  16. napolisoccer

    napolisoccer Member

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