The story of Ukrainian giant Dynamo Kiev under German occupation is a strange and tragic one.
The Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe upended club football in all the countries that would become part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine included. Dynamo Kiev, one of the great teams in the region, was dismantled and its players forced to work in a bread factory for the German cause.
When the German command found out the footballers were working in the bread factory, they decided to bring in a number of top German players to defeat the Ukrainian footballers, raining humiliation on the heads of the natives.
To the astonishment of the Nazis, the emaciated laborers thrashed the German team 5-3, despite the referee being an SS officer.
In response to the humiliation, the Nazis rounded the Ukrainians, threw them in a concentration camp and tortured and executed them, though not before one of the players purportedly shouted “Red sport will triumph!”
A list of players executed follows.
The game is officially known as The Death Match.
photo: A poster advertising the Death Match.