A delegation from Borussia Dortmund made the most of the opportunity provided by BVB’s Champions League away match against Chelsea in London to present the club’s work against anti-Semitism in the British House of Lords the day before the game.

BVB had been invited to a reception at the British government headquarters by Lord Mann, the UK government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, and Kick It Out, the organisation that tackles discrimination in sport. Lord Mann is also an ambassador for Kick It Out. They were joined by other representatives from the world of politics and British football to honour BVB’s work to combat anti-Semitism in sport.  

Borussia Dortmund’s anti-discrimination commissioner Daniel Lörcher presented Borussia Dortmund’s many years of work, which “in recent years has become part of our values and the identity of the club”. These include multi-day educational trips to former concentration camps and other historically relevant places based on the events of the Holocaust. The delegation also showed how the club links its activities with the history of the city and uses interest in BVB to boost social engagement. 

Historian Dr. Andreas Kahrs spoke about persecuted footballers, in particular  former German international Julius Hirsch, who was murdered in Auschwitz. 4 March was the 80th anniversary of his death.   “The fact that Julius Hirsch is also remembered in the UK is something very special,” said Kahrs. “The memory of persecuted Jewish athletes is of great importance in many respects. As anti-Semitism and the denial or trivialisation of the Holocaust are on the rise, it is stories like those of Julius Hirsch that give us the opportunity to help preserve the memory of the Holocaust for future generations.”

Chelsea also presented their anti-discrimination work. “We’re rivals on the pitch, but we work together off the pitch. We share the same views,” said Simon Taylor of the Chelsea Foundation. “Football has a great responsibility, which we must take seriously and at the same time offers great opportunities,” he said about the great influence of sport.

“You have heard how BVB and Chelsea have committed to this. If everyone does something, we will all win,” said Lord Mann, concluding the event. 

Before the match, there will also be a ceremony at the stadium in memory of Julius Hirsch, attended by the Lord Speaker, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, German Ambassador Miguel Berger, and the managing directors and board members of BVB and Chelsea.