TUC opposes football match with Nazi Germany, 1935

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Yesterday (February 26th) the Londonist.com published a wonderful blog post recounting the story of how the TUC had opposed a football match between England and Germany in December 1935. The TUC believed the match, to be played at White Hart Lane in Tottenham, north London, had the potential to pose a serious threat to public order and might be construed as legitimising the Nazi regime. They wrote to the Home Secretary and sent a deputation to argue that the match should be cancelled and that Nazis from Germany should not be allowed to travel to Britain. The match did ultimately take place and, as the blog post recounts, a toast was delivered to Herr Hitler at a post-match dinner organised by the Football Association that evening. The head of the FA, Sir Charles Clegg, apparently apologised to the dinner guests for the TUC’s “interference” in trying to politicise sport.

An account of the TUC’s actions is provided in the TUC Annual Congress Report of 1936. Page 179 of the report states:

And continues on page 180:

The pamphlet “Under the Heel of Hitler” mentioned in the extract above, which was produced by the TUC following the incident in order to highlight to the British public the appropriation of sport in Germany for fascist propaganda purposes, is held by the TUC Library. You can see the front cover below:

“Under the Heel of Hitler”, published by the TUC, 1936

To find out more about what the TUC Library holds, get in touch at tuclib@londonmet.ac.uk, 020 7133 3726 or visit our website.

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