KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Rudolf Gramlich, president of Eintracht Frankfurt when the club contested the historic 1960 European Cup Final, has been removed posthumously from the club’s role of honour because of his Nazi-era activities.
Gramlich played for Frankfurt – and 22 times for Germany – in the inter-war years. But his was one of the perpetrating names uncovered by belated investigations over the past decade into grim links between German football and Nazi atrocities.
For many years after the war senior officials in the German game glossed over events in the 1930s and early 1940s. However intensive research by academics and historians eventually led to a reappraisal.
All German matches at the weekend, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in southern Poland, marked a commitment to the Nie Wieder (Never Again) project.
Frankfurt’s annual meeting was told on Sunday that Gramlich, president from 1955-70 and later honorary president, had been an active member of both the Nazi party and the SS.
Club Eintracht president Peter Fischer said: “Rudolf Gramlich approvingly accepted the violent reign of National Socialism.
“This is documented through his leadership of the club that conformed with the regime, his membership of the SS and the NSDAP, two criminal organisations, and especially through his participation in the German terror regime in the occupied territories.”
Frankfurt had commissioned the Fritz Bauer Institute for Holocaust research to look into the lives of club officials during the Nazi years.
Gramlich, who died in 1988, had been president when Frankfurt won their only German league title in 1959 and, the following year, when they reached the European Champions Cup final which they lost 7-3 to Real Madrid in Glasgow.
Fischer added: “We are convinced that the facts, overlooked at the time of his being named honorary president, must today be evaluated differently.
“An honorary president, no matter how positive his contribution to the club, must also be morally and ethically a role model for the youth, the membership and society.”