Ajax, the Dutch, the war: The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour

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When most people think about the Netherlands, images of tulips and peaceful pot smoking residents spring to mind. Bring up soccer, and most will think of Johan Cruyuff, the Dutch player thought to rival Pele in preternatural skill, and Ajax, one of the most influential soccer clubs in the world whose academy system for young athletes has been replicated around the globe (and most notably by Barcelona and the 2010 world champions, Spain). But as international bestselling author Simon Kuper writes in Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Soccer in Europe During the Second World War , the story of soccer in Holland cannot be understood without investigating what really occurred in this country during WWII. For decades, the Dutch have enjoyed the reputation of having a "good war." The myth is even resonant in Israel where Ajax is celebrated. The fact is, the Jews suffered shocking persecution at the hands of Dutch collaborators. Holland had the second largest Nazi movement in Europe outside Germany, and in no other country except Poland was so high a percentage of Jews deported. Kuper challenges Holland's historical amnesia and uses soccer--particularly the experience of Ajax, a club long supported by Amsterdam's Jews--as a window on wartime Holland and Europe. Through interviews with Resistance fighters, survivors, wartime soccer players and more, Kuper uncovers this history that has been ignored, and also finds out why the Holocaust had a profound effect on soccer in the country. Ajax produced Cruyuff but was also built by members of the Dutch resistance and Holocaust survivors. It became a surrogate family for many who survived the war and its method for producing unparalleled talent became the envy of clubs around the world. In this passionate, haunting and moving work of forensic reporting, Kuper tells the breathtaking story of how Dutch Jews survived the unspeakable and came to play a strong role in the rise of the most exciting and revolutionary style of soccer -- "Total Football" -- the world had ever seen.
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ISBN:
9781568587233
9781568587240
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Grouping Information

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full_title ajax the dutch the war the strange tale of soccer during europes darkest hour
author kuper simon
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-02-22 00:58:29AM

Solr Details

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author Simon Kuper
author-letter Kuper, Simon.
author_additional Simon Kuper.
author_display Simon Kuper
availability_toggle_pitkin Available Now, Available Online, Entire Collection
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callnumber-a GV943.6.A3
callnumber-first G - Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
callnumber-subject GV - Leisure and Recreation
callnumber_sort_pitkin 796.334 K96d
date_added 2012-09-15T06:00:00Z
days_since_added 1620
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display_description The Holocaust, the Second World War, the Jewish community of Amsterdam, all seen through the filter of football. The Dutch club Ajax is the vehicle through which Simon Kuper recounts the stories of both survival and persecution of members of Amsterdam's Jewish population, almost 80 per cent of Amsterdam's Jewish Corner was wiped out in the War, and the long-held notion that, by and large, half the Dutch population had some kind of link to the Resistance has, of late, come into question. Simon Kuper explores this issue and looks deeper into the role of football across Europe in the years both preceding and following World War 2.
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physical xii, 274 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
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subject_facet Ajax (Soccer team) -- History -- 20th century, Jews -- Netherlands -- Amsterdam -- History -- 20th century, Soccer -- Europe -- History -- 20th century, Soccer and war -- Europe -- History -- 20th century
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Ajax, the Dutch, the war : The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour
title_display Ajax, the Dutch, the war : the strange tale of soccer during Europe's darkest hour
title_full Ajax, the Dutch, the War The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour, Ajax, the Dutch, the war : the strange tale of soccer during Europe's darkest hour / Simon Kuper
title_short Ajax, the Dutch, the war :
title_sort ajax, the dutch, the war the strange tale of soccer during europe's darkest hour
title_sub The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour
topic Ajax (Soccer team) History 20th century, History, Jews Netherlands Amsterdam History 20th century, Nonfiction, Soccer Europe History 20th century, Soccer and war Europe History 20th century, Sports & Recreations
topic_facet History, Jews, Nonfiction, Soccer, Soccer and war, Sports & Recreations