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29.06.2021 – 11:52

Radio Bremen

Bremen (ots)

File available in the demonstration room press service Das Erste

Radio Bremen on the first

Monday, July 5, 2021, 10:05 p.m.

From Nazi to English football idol – goalkeeper legend Bert Trautmann

A Radio Bremen film by János Kereszti and Jan-Dirk Bruns

How did a German Wehrmacht soldier become a celebrated British football hero in the post-war period? The Radio Bremen documentary “From Nazi to English Football Idol – The Goalkeeper Legend Bert Trautmann” shows the moving life story of the football star of the 1950s in a torn Europe and how an enemy became a friend.

With his legendary appearance in the English Cup final in 1956, which he played to the end despite a broken neck, Bert Trautmann set a monument for himself in the history of sport. In the same year he was voted England’s Footballer of the Year and at his club Manchester City even the best player of all time. Bernhard “Bert” Trautmann is still one of the most popular and best known football players in England.

Bernhard Trautmann was born in Bremen in 1923. He discovered his passion for sport early on, especially football. At Tura Bremen he plays in the youth teams – after the Nazis came to power, he also wears the swastika on his chest. “After joining the Hitler Youth early on, 17-year-old Bert even volunteered for the war and wanted to give his life for the Führer,” says his biographer Catrine Clay. Trautmann experienced the horrors and misery of the war first hand, but did not question the National Socialist regime. After the war, like around eleven million German soldiers, he ended up as a prisoner of war. Trautmann comes to England. There he is classified as a “staunch Nazi”.

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The prisoners were not released until 1948. But Trautmann remains one of the few in England. Why exactly, even relatives cannot answer that. His youngest son, Mark Trautmann, still puzzles today what exactly was going on in his father at that time: “He said little about the war and imprisonment. But he always emphasized that he got to know real freedom in England.”

The German gets in contact with the local population through sport, plays as a goalkeeper in a prisoner-of-war team and ends up with the St. Helen’s Town amateur club. As a goalkeeper, he plays so well that the professional club Manchester City noticed him and signed Trautmann in 1949. A German for “Man City” – that goes too far for many English people. 25,000 people demonstrate against “the Nazi in the gate”. Only an open letter from the Jewish rabbi Alexander Altmann calms the mind. “This letter made a big difference,” says Leslie Wertheimer, a member of the Manchester Jewish community, adding: “The Jews here viewed him as a former soldier, but not as a Nazi. He was a great player and a humble, friendly man. ” Trautmann uses his chance, plays his way into the hearts of the fans and conquers the kingdom in flight.

After the movie “Trautmann” (on July 5th at 8:15 pm on the first), the Radio Bremen documentary sets out to search for clues. How did the footballer deal with questions of guilt and atonement? People who were close to him tell how Trautmann and the English got closer and how a man got a second chance in the country of a former enemy.

ARD Degeto

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in the first on Monday, July 5, 2021, 8:15 p.m.-10: 05 p.m. / in the ARD media library from Sunday, July 4, 2021


In “Trautmann”, director Marcus H. Rosenmüller dedicates himself to the exciting and touching biography of Bert Trautmann, who advanced from a hated enemy of war to a highly decorated football idol in England. The goalkeeper made himself a legend when he suffered a broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup final, but continued to play with sensational parades and only collapsed after the award ceremony by Queen Elisabeth. The story of Trautmann, who died in 2013 at the age of 89, received overdue attention in this country in 2019 due to the movie. As “Traut the Kraut”, David Kross embodies an ambivalent title hero who is accompanied by a shadow from his war past during his courageous new beginning.

“From Nazi to English football idol – goalkeeper legend Bert Trautmann” is available to accredited press representatives in the demonstration room of the Das Erste press service.

The photos are available under ARD Photo.

Radio Bremen’s press releases are published on the Internet at www.radiobremen.de/presse.

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Original content from: Radio Bremen, transmitted by news aktuell