11 Freunde

Nazis in Football Stadiums

Right-wing extremists are interested in the members of the ultra scene - one of the largest youth cultures in Germany - and want to occupy their themes for their own purposes. Their recruitment in the football scene is subtle. Right-wing extremists take over topics such as the commercialization of football and turn them into criticism of globalization. They use terms and phrases from the ultra spectrum that are about "honour", "tradition" or "one's own city". They adapt not only their language, but also their clothing to ultra culture.

How teens start as football fans and end up being neo-Nazis is covered by this great reportage by Ron Ulrich.
I imagined the story to be a kind of neon
-noir picture book that portrayed the gruesome story with a hard-boiled look.

"For us, football was crucial for the first contact, especially at away games. When you have made a name for yourself, you show presence. Then you talk to the people who are often there. At first you just talk to them about football, then at some point you ask: "Aren't you also dissatisfied with the system in Germany?" And after a while you invite them to a meeting. That sounds clumsy - but the young people in particular were showing off when they knew us, when they were allowed to come to us. We were at the top of the hierarchy."

"I don't know if I'll fall off the wagon again. But I'm on a good path. I've heard that my friends from football at the time are either in jail or in the bouncer and rocker scene. If I hadn't become a father, far away in another city, I would probably be in the same mood."

The reportage by Ron Ulrich was awarded 2nd place in the Grand Online Prize of the Association of German Sports Journalists. It can be read here in German.