sport and sportsmen under the Nazis


THEME: sport and sportsmen under the Nazis

DURATION: 1½ hours

TARGET SCHOOLS: 4th and 5th level primary school classes, first grade secondary school


In narrating the vicissitudes of two great sporting champions under the Nazi regime, the footballer Mathias Sindelar and the athlete Gretel Bergmann, we introduce the children to a historical process in which a reconstruction of key events in the lives of the two protagonists, and by extension in the story of a whole people, leads us to reflect on what might be meant by ‘out of play’.. When and why were the footballer and the athlete ruled ‘out of play’ in relation to history and their own lives? And in what circumstances could any of us in our own daily lives find ourselves marginalised and out of play?


  • To introduce the children to the experiences of two sporting champions under Nazism
  • to familiarise the children with recent history and make them aware how the choices made by individuals can influence the unfolding of historical events
  • to explore the history and chronology of the period in question
  • to narrow the gap between past and present so as to stimulate reflection on how the choices of exceptional personalities can become significant for the choices of every individual even in everyday contexts

We would like to thank Orecchio Acerbo publishing for allowing us to use Fabrizio Silei and Maurizio Quarello’s Fuorigioco. Matthias Sindelar, il Mozart del pallone (Out of play: Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of the ball)

Cost: €90 up to 15 students, €5 for each extra student