Home Uncategorised Germany Has Not Learned from its Horrific Past.

Germany Has Not Learned from its Horrific Past.

by Chris Ezeh

The documentary “Schwarze Adler” tells the incriminating and very sad story of Afro-German professional footballers and their negative, racist experiences in Germany. The documentary “Schwarze Adler” raises the voices of black professional footballers in Germany like Erwin Kostedde, Gerald Asamoah and Shary Reeves against their experiences with the German national team.

Erwin Kostedde, 74, one of the first black German national team players, who was born in Münster as the son of an African-American soldier, reports: “Football is a promise, just like democracy: every person should get equal opportunities, everyone should participate, no one should be disadvantaged. The more hope you put in this claim, the greater the disappointment when the promises are not kept”.

In the documentary film “Black Eagles” by director Thorsten Körner, current and former black professional footballers tell stories of hopefuls and the disappointed, some of whom made it to the top, to the national team, but still could never really belong; or especially at the top had to experience how little they “belong” in the eyes of others. As long as the question of the structural causes and the right consequences remains unanswered, the motto of football diversity will also remain only a promise.

Hertha player Jordan Torunarigha, who was punished with a red card in February last year: His crime: Because he reacted angrily to racist insults, he receives the red card. Is that fair? Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Torunarigha

But Kostedde’s story of disappointment is followed by many others that reach into the present; of Jimmy Hartwig, who proudly presents his national jersey from 1979 in the documentary, who also failed to establish himself in the national team back then despite successes; of Anthony Baffoe, Patrick Owomoyela, Otto Addo, Gerald Asamoah, but also of Hertha player Jordan Torunarigha, who was punished with a red card in February last year when he hurled away a drinks crate in his anger after racist fan shouts. Hertha player Jordan Torunarigha crime: Because he reacts angrily to this, he receives the red card. Is that justice? One asks the question here: who are the victims now and who are the aggressors? Why are such racist acts still being played down and swept under the carpet by the media and reporters in Germany?

The stories are all similar: players are racially insulted by fans, followed at best by expressions of solidarity, but there are no fundamental consequences. In this respect, it would have been great if the film had also examined the responsibility of the German Football Association and the clubs. Christian Hoßfeld, a YouTube user, comments: “It is incomprehensible to me how you can judge a person by the colour of his skin. It brings tears to your eyes when you see this trailer. I am definitely teaching my son that all people are equal”. Black Eagles is a 2021 documentary film by German director Torsten Körner, produced by Leopold Hoesch.

The film Black Eagles has been available on Amazon Prime since 15 April and will be shown on ZDF on 18 June. In the ZDF-Mediathek, the documentary can be seen until 17 July.


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