Borussia Dortmund adopt IHRA to send 'strong signal against Jew hate'

German football giants Borussia Dortmund have confirmed they have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemtism in a move the club said would send “a strong signal against hatred against Jews.”

The Bundesliga club’s Chairman of the Board of Management Hans-Joachim Watzke said he had decided it was a positive move to adopt the definition after a visit to the World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem in January.

Dortmund had originally intended to mark the adoption of the definition with a ceremony in front of fans before a home match. But it was confirmed in an online screening also involving Lord John Mann, the UK government’s antisemitism adviser, Ruth Ur of Yad Vashem and Dr. Felix Klein the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life.

“With our diverse projects, from readings and workshops to the annual educational trips to various memorial sites, we reach many BVB fans, employees, partners and sponsors,” said Mr Watzke. “ To adopt the working definition of antisemitism is a further step in our work.”

Dortmund has been outspoken in its battle against antisemitism in German football, running education programs for supporters and organising visits to concentration camps to help teach about the horrors of the Holocaust.

In 2019 they made a sizable donation to Yad Vashem's Shoah Heritage Collections Centre which houses artifacts, photographs, artwork and documents from the Holocaust.

Another, lower league German side, Tennis Borussia Berlin, have also confirmed they have adopted the IHRA definition – and more leading German sides are also expected to announce their backing for the definition in the forthcoming months.

In the UK, Chelsea have led the way with their adoption of IHRA, along with a series of high-profile events around the need to remember the Holocaust and challenge antisemitism, and all forms of racism.

But Lord Mann, who has used his new role to spearhead moves for football clubs across Europe to adopt IHRA, is pushing for further Premier League clubs to become proactive in challenging anti-Jewish racism.

Source: thejc