Football, Fascism and England's Nazi salute

Worksheet 1

Instructions: read the article titled Football, Fascism and England’s Nazi salute and answer the questions below (1 to 8).

URL web address:  

1.      According to the article, what lies behind the “glossy” image of the beautiful game?

2.      Explain how the game between England and Germany, at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on 14th May 1938, “ranks as one of England’s darkest moments in sport.”

3.      England’s presence in Germany on May 14, 1938 was less about sport and more about politics.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement, give reasons for your answer.

4.      What was the significance of this friendly game between England and Germany?

5.      Describe Hitler’s, Mussolini’s and Franco’s attitude towards sport before they became dictators?

6.      Discuss how Mussolini played an influential role in the organisation and the outcome of the 1934 World Cup?

7.      Discuss how football played an important role in Mussolini’s and Hitler’s propaganda plans to gain popular support for their fascist  ideology?

8.      How would you describe the circumstances of Mattias Sinderlar’s death? Give reasons for your answer.   

Class discussion  

Discuss how Mussolini and Hitler used the popularity of football to help spread their fascist ideology and to gain political advantage for their political party. 

Worksheet 2

Instructions:read the article titled Football, Fascism and England’s fascists salute and choose one imaginary scenario from the list below.   

1.      Imagine that you are Matthias Sindelar, Austria’s star player; write two paragraphs explaining why you were unwilling to help promote fascist propaganda, especially NAZI propaganda through football.


- your attitude towards NAZI Germany after they abolish the superioe Austrian team.  

- your attitude toward Benito Mussolini after he appointed a young Swedish official to referee the semi-final of the 1934 World Cup between Italy and your native Austria.   

2.      Imagine that you are an English player, who played against Germany in the friendly game of May 1938. 

Write three paragraphs about your experience regarding that football game.


-          reasons why the English team gave the Nazi salute to the crowd. 

-          the reaction of the British press after the game. 

-          how the game was played. 

3.      Imagine that you are a diplomat in the British Foreign Office, based in London (year 1938). 

Write three paragraphs about:

-          the diplomatic relations between London and Berlin at that time.

-          how England’s policy of appeasement towards NAZI Germany was adopted by playing this friendly match against Germany.

web page created by E McCarthy on Sunday 13.03.2011