On the occasion of the Day of Remembrance we want to remember a man who made football great in the 1930s and who clashed with the Nazi persecutions that ended not only his career but also his life.
This is Arpad Weisz , a player and coach that football remembers as the youngest coach in history. His existence was crossed by a golden moment, where his brilliant qualities on the pitch allowed the Bologna team to achieve great results, up to dramatic moments, where historical events took his dreams in hand and made them broken together with his own life and that of his family.
And thanks to Matteo Marani,former director of Guerin Sportivo, which today we can learn about his history and pay homage to him so as not to forget the horror of the holocaust. Through a meticulous historical reconstruction of all the phases of Arpad’s life, the writer managed to revive him in a book, which has just been presented to the public in these days. This is the text entitled “From the Scudetto to Auschwitz: life and death of Arpad Weisz, Jewish coach”
Arpad Weisz was Hungarian but of Jewish origin and this “fault” of his has given a dramatic turn to what must have been a life made up of great successes started at the age of 34. With his talent as a coach he managed to win a Scudetto with Ambrosiana and two with Bologna, both in the years 1935/36 and 1936/37. But his satisfactions did not end here and in 1937 his team also won the Universal Exposition Tournament in Paris, beating their opponent, Chelsea.
But exactly one year later, in 1938, everything changed and his life was completely turned upside down by the enactment of the racial laws, which forced him to flee and leave his beloved Bologna and Italy.
He moved to the Netherlands with his family but did not abandon his passion, football, dedicating himself to coaching the local team, the Dordrect . Also in this case his teachings as a coach paid off and the team achieved excellent results.
Arpad Weisz thought he had started a new life away from the Nazi cruelty, but he was wrong. He was found deprived of his family who were killed in a gas chamber in Auschwitz and forcibly taken to a labor camp. On January 31, 1944 he died at the age of 47 at the hands of the Nazis in a gas chamber like his family members.
A fate common to many people who, like him, were victims of Nazi racism, which history today firmly wants to remember.
And not to forget, Bologna also wanted to pay a tribute to a man who played an important role in its football history. On 25 January 2018 the curve of the Dall’Ara stadium was inaugurated, which lies on the slopes of San Luca in honor of the technician Weizs and from this moment it will take the name of “Curva Madonna di San Luca – Arpad Weisz”.
The ceremony, chaired by the mayor Virginio Merola, by the councilor for Sport Matteo Lepore, by the a.d. of Bologna fc Claudio Fenucci, by the Club Manager Marco Di Vaio, by the chief rabbi Alberto Sermoneta and by the president of the Jewish Community of Bologna Daniele De Paz, honored the man who was the victim of the holocaust, to fight indifference and violence.
Here are the words of the mayor of Bologna:
Eighty years later we must recognize that we Bolognese did not make a good impression and we apologize to our Jewish fellow citizens because at that time there was too much indifference , complicity and even zeal in supporting the Nazis in accompanying the Jews in the camps. The idea of ​​race, invented by the regime, does not exist because we all belong to the same species.
And with Fenucci ‘s words we also want to remember the Hungarian technician victim of the Shoah, as a warning for future generations:
Weisz was a Sacchi or a Mourinho of the 1930s, a great innovatorin years in which technical size was not conditioned by economic resources. Today we are happy to celebrate sport and the fight against discrimination

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