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Marburg honour Kurt Bunke

Last summer, FC United was invited to play a friendly in the German town of Marburg, the match against a ’Marburg XI’ was organised by Kurt Bunke as part of a wider campaign by Marburg citizens to combat the threat of racist attitudes in the area. The hard work of our good friend Kurt Bunke has recently been recognised by the town.

The FC office received an e-mail this week from Kurt. He wrote: "Today I got a rather unusual message from the Sports Editor of the Oberhessische Presse (the local newspaper for Marburg and the surrounding area). He is the chairman of the jury that chooses our local sportsman, sportswoman and sport team of the year.

"He wanted me to come along the following Tuesday to the Restaurant in the Ahrens Department Store. That is where the presentations were going to take place. The jury had decided to award me a special prize because of my role in organising the friendly between FC United and a combined team of VfB Marburg and Sportfreunde Richtsberg and for the design and implementation of the related programme which included a demonstration through the town and a call for anti-racist banners."

Ahrens Department Store is directly opposite the site of Marburg’s synagogue. The synagogue was burned down during the infamous Kristalnacht of 1938. There is now a small park where the synagogue once stood and a plaque on which the inscription begins, ’in memory of our Jewish fellow citizens.’ Even before the rise to power of the Nazis, Marburg was a hotbed of anti-Semitism and elected the first MP to the German Reichstag who represented a small party called the Anti-Semitic Party.

Today, Germany faces fresh challenges from the extreme right, playing on fears about immigrants and refugees in Germany. This anti-foreigner movement contains disturbing echoes of the racism of the Nazis. FC United was, therefore, delighted to lend its support to those voices in German society who are seeking to drown out the racists by cooperating with Kurt and the two football teams he introduced us to. We hope that this will be start of a special relationship between us, the town of Marburg and its sporting community.

Kurt continues: "I am pleased to accept the prize and I will of course be wearing my FC United scarf when I do so. In my acceptance speech I will have the opportunity once again to address the issue of the fight against racism in sport and society. I know that a large part of the credit for the award should go to FC United. After all, you are the club that developed the idea which I merely helped to support. I, therefore, thank you for the outstanding support you gave me around the match last year."

FC United would like to thank Kurt publicly for his work last year. His award is richly deserved and we salute him also.

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First Posted ~ 12:59 Thu 5 Feb 2009
News ID ~ 2060
Last Updated ~ 12:36 Mon 21 May 2018