German football giants Borussia Dortmund have confirmed they have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemtism in a move the club said would send “a strong signal against Jew-hatred.”
The Bundesliga club’s Chairman of the Board of Management Hans-Joachim Watzke said he had decided it was a positive move to adopt the definition after a visit to the World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem in January.
Dortmund had originally intended to mark the adoption of the definition with a ceremony in front of fans before a home match. But it was confirmed in an online screening also involving Lord John Mann, the UK government’s antisemitism adviser, Ruth Ur of Yad Vashem and Dr. Felix Klein the German Federal Government Commissioner for combatting antisemitism and promoting Jewish Life.
“With our diverse projects, from readings and workshops to the annual educational trips to various memorial sites, we reach many BVB fans, employees, partners and sponsors,” said Mr Watzke. “ To adopt the working definition of antisemitism is a further step in our work.”
Dortmund has been outspoken in its battle against antisemitism in German football, running education programs for supporters and organising visits to concentration camps to help teach about the horrors of the Holocaust.
In 2019 they made a sizable donation to Yad Vashem’s Shoah Heritage Collections Centre which houses artifacts, photographs, artwork and documents from the Holocaust.