Berlin: England Football Team’s Hitler Salute (1938)

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England Tean on Left

The Day England’s Footballers Gave the Nazi Salute

In the mid 1930’s, the middle classes ofBritain were riddled with what can best be described as ‘Hitler Fever’! At a time when Winston Churchill was writing glowing ccounts of Hitler and the British royal family were busy practising their fascist salutes (including the future Queen Elizabth II), the English National Football squad – comprised of primarily very talented working class players – was being couched by that very same middle class to show the utmost respect to the Hitlerite regime in Nazi Germany by also displaying the infamous ‘straight armed salute’. On the 14th of May, 1938, the England Football Team played Nazi Germany in front of 110,000 spectators at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Just two months after Chamberlain signed a Non-Agression Pact with Hitler (giving Czechoslovakia to Germany), the England Team gave the straight armed fascist salute to the joy of the capacity crowd! Meanwhile, volunteer British men and women were fighting and dying against Hitler and fascism in Spain. Ironically, just over one year later, the very same middle class would be calling upon the very same working class to fight a war against Nazi Germany!  English football to this day is still riddled with racism. This is the original news article about this highly disturbing event:

 

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