Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Israeli Player Abused by German Soccer Fans

Fans of the German soccer club 1st FC Kaiserslautern yelled Drecksjude (dirty Jew) at the Israeli soccer player Itay Shechter during a training session on February 26, 2012. In addition, two fans greeted the soccer players with the Nazi salute. According to Christian Gruber, spokesman of 1st FC Kaiserslautern, the club has asked the relevant authorities and the police to investigate the event and evaluate its criminal aspects. Distancing the club from all forms of racism, discrimination and antisemitism, Gruber noted that the offenders were a group of 5 to 10 well-known hooligans who had been banned from the stadium. A well-known strategy of the extreme right German National Democratic Party (NPD) is to try to infiltrate soccer fan clubs like the 1st FC Kaiserslautern in order to spread its ideology and recruit young members.

Sources: Press release 1st FC Kaiserslautern, 28-Feb-2012; Endstation Rechts, 23-Mar-2011; Spiegel Online, 27-Feb-2012; Jerusalem Post, 28-Feb-2012; The Independent, 27-Feb-2012.