History

The Soccer Teams who Competed at Auschwitz and Birkenau

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A WWII veteran has told the story of how he was a goalkeeper in the Sunday football league at Auschwitz. Ron Jones, 94, played in football matches organised by the camp administrators at the labour complex. The pensioner played in goal for the Welsh team in the games against other British prisoners of war.

‘We didn’t work on a Sunday so we used to go around playing football,’ he said.

International flavour: Mr Jones, pictured here fourth from the right in the back row, with his Welsh team-mates in the Auschwitz Sunday league team
Ron Jones was a goalkeeper in the Sunday league at Auschwitz labour war camp

‘The Red Cross heard about this and the next time they came they brought four loads of shirts, English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh. ‘So we formed our teams and we would go playing on Sunday then.’ Mr Jones, a father of one, was an inmate at Auschwitz E715.

Screen team: Mr Jones’ tale echoes the classic film Escape To Victory, in which Sylvester Stallone’s American soldier (blue shirt) starred alongside football royalty such as Pele (right)

As in Britain, where there was situated 1,050 similar POW camps and in the United States, 700 POW such camps, during the week the soldiers were employed at the camp. But the Prisoners of War were allowed to play football on their rest day as guards, a Dad’s Army type of war veteran or youngsters would watch as the teams played in a field just outside the camp. And the soldiers would be cheered on by crowds of hundreds of other prisoners and factory workers.

Auschwitz-Wartime

‘We would just play among ourselves for pleasure, to relax it was,’ said Mr Jones. ‘When you’re under those conditions it was a real pleasure to play football on a Sunday. ‘But we could only play in the summer, of course, because in the winter it was deep with snow.’

The players customised their sweaters with the emblems darned from the wool of old socks. And with their country’s Welsh insignia emblazoned proudly on their chest they almost look like any other football team.

Mr Jones voluntarily left the camp as did all other inmates to escape the oncoming Red Army. For more than four months he and others guards included, trekked 900 miles across Europe before eventually being freed by American troops. He survived the march and eventually returned to his home in Newport, South Wales, where he was reunited with his wife Gwladys.

This begs the question: if Auschwitz and similar were extermination camps why would hundreds of prisoners voluntarily leave with the captors to escape ‘liberation’ by the Red Army. Unless, of course, one remembers that those who spin the propaganda told us Saddam Hussein had ‘weapons of mass destruction’, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi was a threat to world peace, and Covid-19 was going to kill 50% of mankind.

He says, there were prisoners from all over the world at Auschwitz. The camp was originally built to accommodate Polish POWs, and later many Russian POWs arrived as well.

On the right is Ron Jones, the former goalkeeper of the Wales team in the Auschwitz football league. Above left, the English prisoner of war football team poses for the group photo and on the right, the Wales team. In the centre of the picture, in the back row, Ron Jones, who told the media about his memories in 2013.

There were hospitals, theatre, gyms and sports activities in the Birkenau concentration camp (or Auschwitz II) falsely described by Allied propagandists as an ‘extermination camp’.

‘There was the humiliation of being there and the lack of food, but on the whole, life was not so bad. Ron Jones adds: ‘The Germans, contrary to what a lot of people think, were pretty good for us on the whole.’

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books  THE ALL LIES INVASION, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME,  WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  REICH AND WRONG,  HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , HEROES OF THE REICH,  THE FUHRER’S PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE ,  FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKMEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors and  DEATH OF A CITY

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS,  THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers. Click REAL HISTORY.

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