Before Polish-Israeli match, murdered Jewish player honored

Soccer manager Avram Grant lauded the sport as a game of equals.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
June 10, 2019 21:22
2 minute read.
Before Polish-Israeli match, murdered Jewish player honored

[From Left to Right] Director of From The Depths Jonny Daniels, Yoav and Eitan Dekel, Director of the the Polish Football association PZPN Janusz Basalajand Mr. Avram Grant. . (photo credit: FROM THE DEPTHS)

 
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TSKZ, the Social Cultural society of Polish Jews, held a special event on Monday at an exhibition devouted to Polish-Jewish football players with a focus on Jozef Klotz, the first goal scorer for the Polish National Team, a From the Depths press release reported on Monday.  

Klotz was born in Krakow and played for Jutrzenka Krakow and Maccabi Warszawa, he scored the first Polish goal in a match against Sweden in 1922. He was murdered in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto.  

Yoav and Eitan Dekel, who are the great nephew and great-great nephew of Jozef Klotz, came from Israel to attend the event. Mr. Avram Grant, honorary chairman of From the Depths and himself a son of a Polish Jewish Holocaust Survivor was also present as well as Director of the the Polish Football association PZPN Janusz Basalaj. Also attending were Director of From The Depths British-Israeli activist Jonny Daniels, Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Museum Albert Stankowski, Poland's ambassador to Israel Marek Mageirowski and Polish soccer players. 

Yoav Dekel and his son Eitan were presented with a shirt with Klotz’s name on it by the Polish Football Association with a promise they remember his great uncle.

Yoav Dekel said “My great uncle Jozef was only ever remembered by two blurred pictures from Jutrzenka Krakow, only recently we started to learn about my great uncle, who has almost been forgotten, this is why we are so thankful to organizations like From The Depths for keeping this important memory alive.”


Avram Grant said “Its my honor to be at this important event, to be today at an event speaking about the Holocaust and going to a football match is not an easy thing to do, but its important to see the difference. In football, everyone has an equal chance, it doesn’t matter what religion you are, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, it doesn’t matter if you have an education or not, you have an equal chance."

"The players we see on the pitch are simply good at football...its symbolic that we are remembering Jozef Klotz, he played for the Polish National team simply because he was a good football player and later he was murdered because someone said that he is not equal to everyone...This connects the most horrendous past to football, which unites people and brings people together.”

Basalaj said “It is an honor for us to remember Jozef Klotz, scorer of the first goal for our national team, he wore the red and white of our beautiful country with pride. He was a proud Polish player and we will always remember that. The team he played in was made from all different religions and this was something of great pride for us.”

Daniels said “ It was our honor, to host this important event today, remembering what unites us as people, remembering what brings us together and puts us all on level, equal playing field. Through this important event, we will be working to tell more stories of those whose lives were lost and ensuring that their memory is never forgotten.

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