The Game of Their Lives

The Stories of Righteous Among the Nations Who Devoted Their Lives to Sport

“Without Béla Stollár neither I nor any other member of my family would have survived. At the end, it was he who died for us and for humanity.” Prof. István Deák
Holocaust survivor
“I hope that our Swaythling Club will continue to develop and promote that which money cannot buy: friendship, health, love, faithfulness, loyalty and tolerance.” Žarko Dolinar
Acting President, 1972
"It is thanks to Maria Friedlaender that my father survived the war. By taking and keeping my father in hiding she risked her life" Drs. Paulien Bruggeman-Citroen,
the daughter of Paul Citroen, Holocaust survivor
"Tadeusz Gebethner should be a model for a patriot, a sportsman, and a man - for every Pole and especially for football fans" Lukasz Chmielewski,
a Polish fan of the Polonia team
"Jan Kasper Klein, the inspired leader of this dangerous hiding practices, has completely devoted himself to his task, without fear for his own life" Bob Denneboom,
Holocaust survivor
"Pola was crying and asked if anybody would be willing to take her daughter. Then Danielius said me: "Maybe WE can take her"?"
Ona Žilevičienė
"That we owe our lives to this family is obvious. The motivation of the Wetemans was a spontaneous offer of help during this horrible period and resistance against the enemy"
Harry de Wolf
Holocaust survivor
"Martin Uher took a great risk. Had the Germans discovered what he was doing, they would certainly arrested him and confiscated his property"
Imrich Rosenberg-Hajny
Holocaust survivor
"The underground news in Budapest spreads rapidly. We hear of a new sport called: 'Jew hunting'..."
From Gita Mallasz' book, Talking with Angels
"The [false] papers padded his bicycle seat, which was then very professionally covered"

These Righteous Among the Nations, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, and are featured in this unique exhibition, embodied the Olympic spirit by dedicating their lives to "social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles". (taken from the Olympic Charter)

  • Gino Bartali
    Gino Bartali

    Gino Bartali, born in Florence in 1914, was a champion road cyclist who won the Italian Giro d'Italia multi-stage race three times and the Tour de France twice...

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  • Žarko Dolinar
    Boris and Žarko Dolinar

    Žarko Dolinar lived in Zagreb and worked as a sports coach in various places, in particular at the Maccabi Sports Club run by the Jewish community in Zagreb...

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  • Maria Helena Friedlander (Bruhn)
    Maria Helena Friedlander (Bruhn)

    Maria Helena Bruhn, a gymnastics teacher, had been living in Holland since 1931 and was married to Henri Friedlander, a Jewish typographer and graphic designer...

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  • Tadeusz Gebethner
    Tadeusz Gebethner

    Tadeusz Gebethner was the first president of the Polonia sport club and the first captain of its football team. Gebethner played in more than 150 matches...

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  • Jan Kasper Klein
    Jan Kasper Klein

    A young gymnastics teacher sheltered 17 Jewish refugees in his small house until he was betrayed in February 1944...

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  • Margit Eugénie Mallász
    Margit Eugénie Mallász

    Next to her professional career of designer, Margit (Gitta) Mallász excelled as a swimmer, and in 1926 became Hungary's champion in backstroke...

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  • Béla Stollár
    Béla Stollár

    Béla Stollár was a sports reporter, wrote for Nemzeti Sport (National Sport), which was Hungary's main sports newspaper. He specialized on swimming and boxing events...

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  • Martin Uher
    Martin Uher

    Martin Uher was well known in Czechoslovakia, both as a member of the Slovan Bratislava football club and national football team...

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  • Anthonie Pieter and Judith Wetemans
    Anthonie Pieter and Judith Wetemans

    Before and during the war, Anthonie Wetemans was a sports instructor and owner of a sports club in The Hague...

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  • Danielius, Ona and Adolfina Žilevičius
    Danielius, Ona and Adolfina Žilevičius

    Danielius worked for the Ministry of Interior and played for L.F.L.S. football club, Kaunas and Lithuania national team...

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