10 years against discrimination in football in Berlin

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of founding of Berlin gegen Nazis and just in time for the start of the EURO, we look back on our joint commitment in the world of football in Berlin.

Banners are up at around 50 football grounds throughout Berlin: “No place for racism”, and “No place for anti-Semitism”, next to the logo of the Berlin Football Association (BFV), the respective club, and a bear with a football. In November 2020, BFV launched a campaign together with Berlin gegen Nazis and supported by our sister project, Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin (MBR), which many Berlin amateur football clubs joined. After three years with many campaign events, the “No place for racism and anti-Semitism” campaign culminated in 2023.

Presentation of the banners with BFV, Tennis Borussia Berlin, and BAK at Mommsenstadion, November 2020. Photo: Berlin gegen Nazis

We consider the campaign successful: 10-metre-long banners for permanent positioning on football pitches in Berlin’s neighborhoods were put up (and are still on display today), and a campaign video was created (available on our YouTube channel). The campaign provided occasions and room for exchange and contact. A decade of campaign projects, oftentimes with limited resources, has taught us that getting to know and finding committed people who are passionate about fighting racism and anti-Semitism makes all the difference. The campaign with BFV was enabled by precisely this process of networking.

Christian Rudolph (right) next to Bianca Klose, managing director of our supporting association VDK e.V., and Beatrice Morgenthaler (†) from the working group on right-wing extremism at ver.di, at the presentation of the Berlin gegen Nazis APP 2014. Photo: Berlin Gegen Nazis/Florian Boillot

We would like to give thanks to EVERYONE we have had the pleasure of getting to know and who got involved on the football grounds every day! In particular, we would like to thank Christian Rudolph. He has accompanied our project since 2014 as our contact person at LSVD and the Respect Gaymes, but also with his activities at Football Fans Against Homophobia and as a passionate fan of Tennis Borussia Berlin, and who introduced us at BFV. He congratulated us, stating:

“It takes fighing an uphill battle day to day to reduce discrimination across the board of the sports associations. You won’t get anywhere without allies and mutual support. So congratulations on your 10th birthday, Berlin gegen Nazis!”

Christian Rudolph, contact person for the competence and contact point for sexual and gender diversity in football at the DFB in cooperation with the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD)
Banner campaign at FSV Hansa 07 in Kreuzberg. Photo: Berlin against Nazis

We would also like to thank the former and current board of our partner club FSV Hansa 07, where we were able to learn a lot about the microcosm of amateur football in Berlin with joint campaigns against racism and many conversations, advice, and friendly announcements made with grinning faces. This was the only way we could develop a functioning and motivating campaign for the BFV and implement it together with the clubs and the association. Yasmin Ranjbare from Hansa 07 emphasized once again:

“Working against racism and anti-Semitism at grassroots level is crucial, that’s what we want to convey with our club motto ‘Catenaccio against racism’ and why we are active in networks such as Berlin gegen Nazis.”

Yasmin Ranjbare, Chairwoman of FSV Hansa 07

We are excited to see what the future holds for us in the area of football. In any case, we recommend the “Pride House” organized by LSVD for the upcoming European Championship. At Poststadion in Moabit, queer people and allies will have the opportunity to watch football in a safe space, relaxed and free of charge, enriched by a supporting program of workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, and sports activities. More information can be found at @pridehouseberlin on Instagram!