memories of the famous
Glasgow RANGERS FC
Rangers Forever .....
Some mis-informed folk try to make an issue of the
time a Nazi flag flew at Ibrox Park ....... well here's the story.
Nothing tae hide, nae hidden
agendas, it was a Scotland
Select fitba match
The last time a united Germany faced Scotland
Ibrox, was on Wednesday, Oct.14, 1936.
The countries had only met once before, in 1929, when a makeshift all
tartan Scotland team had drawn 1-1 in Berlin.
A crowd of 40,000 was much smaller than expected due to the political
feeling about the game - even in 1936 there were strong misgivings about
the Nazi regime, combined with bitter memories of the Great War. To make
their politics entirely clear, the Germans had brought with them two
large Nazi flags - red with a black swastika on a white circle - and
these flew over the Ibrox stand together with a Union Jack.
As the game approached, the political overtones were rife. There was an
atmosphere of having an unwanted guest to stay; no-one wanted to be rude
and everyone ended up being overbearingly polite instead.
Mind you, Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Jerry Dawson tried to
make light of the situation: he dabbed a small black moustache on his
upper lip and pulled his hair over his right eyebrow.
Scotland's second half performance was enough to secure a 2-0 win with
strikes from Celtic's Jimmy Delaney (67 and 83 mins), his first
international goals. The Germans left the pitch with another Nazi
salute to the crowd, and went on to Dublin where they lost 5-2.
They can little have thought that it would be almost 60 years before a
united German team again met Scotland in Glasgow.
They would hardly recognise Ibrox, either, although the Union Jacks
that's put that tae bed.
THE REAL HUNS (An
interesting wee article by David Leggat the chief sports writer of the
“There is a marvelous part of Paul Brickhill's wonderful biography of
Sir Douglas Bader, 'Reach For The Sky,' which recalls when the Battle of
Britain fighter pilot hero is being questioned by a German officer.
It is just after Bader became a POW, and the German adopts a softy-softy
approach, saying to Bader that he knows the British always call them,
Jerries. Bader, always pugnacious, quickly interjects and corrects his
interrogator by saying: "No we don't. We call you Huns."
Which gives a perfect example of just who or what Huns historically are.
There is a long history behind this term, and those who bandy it about
as a jibe at Rangers and their supporters are clearly ignorant of that
history. In the ranks of the ignorant I include the editor of the
Scotsman, John McLennan . His newspaper was deluged by complaints after
a cartoon appeared featuring the German Pope waving to Rangers fans in
the aftermath of the draw at Old Trafford, and remarking that it was a
good day all round for Huns.
McLennan was so under siege he took a step unusual for an
editor-in-chief of publishing a signed apology. It was however,
weasel-worded, as he admitted to being a Rangers fan, brought up in the
West of Scotland who was frequently referred to as a Hun by his Celtic
supporting friends, and insisted he took no offence from it.
WELL HE SHOULD!
And indeed he would if he knew the history of the word in the 20th
century. What will surprise all but the most erudite of readers, is that
it was first used in July 1900 by Kaiser Wilhelm 111 as he spoke to
German troops being sent to China to put down the Boxer Rebellion.
What Kaiser Bill said was this: "Prisoners will not be taken. Once, a
thousand years ago the Huns, under their king, Attila, made a name for
themselves, one still potent in legend and tradition. May you in this
way make the name of Germany remembered for a thousand years, so that no
Chinaman will ever again dare to even squint at a German."
There followed a period of German barbarism when the Germans, taking the
Kaiser at his word, perpetrated the first genocide of the 20th century,
as a forerunner to the Holocaust.
It was during 1904 in German south west Africa - what we know today as
Nambia - that General Lothar von Trotha slaughtered 60,000 of the Herero
tribe and 8,000, from a population of 10,000, of the Nama tribe. This
led to the Germans becoming widely known as Huns, an epithet which
gained even more of a common currency ten years later at the outbreak of
the Great War.
During the Second World War, Nazi Germany perfected the barbaric
techniques of mass extermination, putting six million Jews to death,
plus uncounted millions of Romany people, Slavs, and even their own
countrymen, should they be unfortunate enough to suffer any mental
illness, or be homosexual.
Huns, in the tradition of Attila, indeed, but to an extent the Mongolian
warlord could never have imagined.
It was a word still used into the mid 1970s when that fine and learned
Scot, Jeremy Issacs, produced the definitive television history of the
1939-45 fight for the survival of civilisation against the Huns, The
World At War. Many of those interviewed, in a series which is often
re-run on the History , Yesterday or Discovery channels, refer to those
from Nazi Germany as Huns, just as Bader did when confronted with one.
Therefore those who use it to describe Rangers and the club's supporters
are either extremely ignorant, or believe the Ibrox club and its
supporters can be compared to the SS, the Gestapo and all the others who
were responsible for genocide. Brian
Reade of the Daily Mirror is another who is either a fool or a bigot
after he tried to be a smart alec by using it, referring to Rangers , in
a recent column in that once great but now laughable rag.
One man who would not tolerate it being used was the wee guy who I
thought was one of the best things ever to happen to Scottish football,
the fellow who rescued Celtic from oblivion, the wonderful Fergus
McCann. I always thought Celtic as a club were at their best and most
admirable when McCann was calling the shots and a good pal of mine, Jim
Cullen, a Celtic supporter who owned The Montrose Bar, where I often
shared a shandy with Billy McNeill and other Parkhead legends, idolised
Of course there may be many with Celtic DNA who disagree. Who think
McCann was not as great a Celt as I and my pal big Jim believed.
However, I am sure there are others, like so many of the Celtic
supporters who have been my friends down through the years, and who may
not have been completely aware of just what the history of the epithet,
They know now!
Though I am just as sure there are others who won't take a blind bit of
notice of this wee lesson to let them know the history, and will
continue to apply the the insult, Huns to Rangers and the club's fans.
Fergus McCann had his own insult for those people. He called them