By Peter O’Dwyer
Borussia Dortmund has released a somewhat off-the-wall Nazi-themed video to combat racism.
The video sees a number of Nazi guards struck down in a series of unfortunate events with the tagline “Football and Nazis do not mix” appearing at the end.
Set in a grim caged-pitch and under the instruction of a referee bearing a somewhat Hitler-esque resemblance, the guards face off against each other before misfortune strikes.
The video is the club’s latest effort to combat a small but significant right-wing extremist body that has infiltrated the club’s colourful fan base.
In February, a fan was banned for shouting ‘Sieg Heil!’ during a minute’s silence for Hamburg club legend Hermann Rieger, who had passed away days previously.
The phrase, which is illegal in Germany, was a common chant at political rallies in Nazi Germany.
It was not the first instance of right-wing extremism amongst the club’s fans however, as a year before, social workers – employed during games to diffuse tensions in the stadium and promote tolerance – were attacked by a group of neo-Nazi fans.
The heavily industrialised Ruhr area which is home to Dortmund, also has a large immigrant population. The state of North Rhine-Westfalia has more right-wing offences than any other state in the country.
At the time of the attack on the stadium workers, the club issued a statement acknowledging the presence of a small extremist group within the stadium on match days.
“"We believe there a few right-wing extremists. The authorities say they have not noticed a significant increase in their numbers in recent years. However, there have been significant changes in the type of incidents," the statement read.
The anti-racism video, released today, finishes with the message: “Borussia connects – Together against racism”.