Chelsea partners with street artist to paint Holocaust memorial on stadium

Souza will be painting a commemorative mural of Jewish football players and British POWs who were sent to Nazi camps, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich promoting "Say No to Antisemitism" (photo credit: Courtesy)
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich promoting "Say No to Antisemitism"
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Chelsea football club is partnering with renowned British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day at Stamford Bridge.
Souza will be painting a commemorative mural of Jewish football players and British POWs who were sent to Nazi camps, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. The artwork will be painted and displayed on the West End Wall of the Stamford Bridge stadium.
The art installation is part of Chelsea FC’s “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign and funded by club owner Roman Abramovich.
“Millions of people were murdered during the Holocaust. As the living memory of the Second World War fades, the more important it becomes to remember the horrors that took place to ensure they are never allowed to happen again,” said Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea. “By sharing the images of these three individual football players on our stadium, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.”   
Souza grew up in London and immigrated to Israel in his late teens. He has become known for his art around Mahane Yehuda, where he has created over 250 murals, featuring famous Israeli and Arab personalities.
“I am delighted to be invited to Chelsea and commissioned by Mr. Abramovich to create this project,” Souza said. “My grandmother, Liselotte Souza, escaped the Nazis in 1939 and came to the UK, so this piece means a lot to me and my family.”
The 12x7m mural will be painted on the West End Wall and portray 3 football personalities who were sent to Nazi camps:
 Julius Hirsch, the first Jewish player to represent the German national team, who played 7 international matches for Germany between 1911 and 1913. He retired from football in 1923 and was deported to Auschwitz on March 1, 1943. His date of death is unknown.
Árpád Weisz was a Hungarian Jewish football player and manager who played for Törekvés SE in his native Hungary and was a member of the Hungarian squad at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.
After retiring as a player in 1926, Weisz settled in Italy and became an assistant coach for Alessandria before moving to F.C. Internazionale Milano. Weisz and his family were forced to flee Italy and found refuge in the Netherlands where Weisz got a coaching job with FC Dordrecht. In 1942, Weisz and his family were deported to Auschwitz. Weisz’s wife Elena and his children Roberto and Clara were murdered by the Nazis on arrival. He died in January 1944.
Ron Jones, known as the “Goalkeeper of Auschwitz”, was a British prisoner of war (POW) who was sent to E715 Wehrmacht British POW camp, part of the Auschwitz complex, in 1942. Jones was part of the Auschwitz Football League and was appointed goalkeeper of the Welsh team. In 1945, Jones was forced to join the “death march” of prisoners across Europe. Together with 230 other Allied prisoners he marched 900 miles from Poland into Czechoslovakia, and finally to Austria, where they were liberated by the Americans. Fewer than 150 men survived the death march. Jones returned to Newport after the war and was a volunteer for the Poppy Appeal for over 30 years, up until his death at the age of 102 in 2019.