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Ajax, the Dutch, the War: The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe's Darkest Hour [Format Kindle]

Simon Kuper

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1076 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 298 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1568587236
  • Editeur : Nation Books; Édition : First Trade Paper Edition (11 septembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008WPRAA8
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
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Commentaires en ligne

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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very interesting 15 novembre 2012
Par Archie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A history of Dutch anti semitism from a very unexpected view point. I read this book in one sitting. Highly recommended
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A fascinating read 20 février 2013
Par Simone K. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I bought this book because it covered two topics that fascinate me: soccer and Holland in WWII (my late grandparents were teenagers in the Netherlands during Nazi Occupation). It did not disappoint. While it did focus more on Dutch Jewish history than I expected, the stories Kuper told in this book were riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A walk through history and sport 4 mars 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
- A non-biased view of the pre-WW II and WW II football in Europe;
- Demythization of some sensible prejudices;
- A lot of useful information;
- Recommended to all football and history lovers.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ajax, soccer, and the war 5 février 2013
Par Margaret Ann Simmons - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The war, any war, has its share of heroism and valor as well as betrayal, secrets, suffering and sin. Sport is too often framed in heroic metaphor but it contains all the parts of human nature seen in war (lacking only women, until Title 10.) This book tells the familiar story one more time and it is so worth it. Human Nature is what it is all about!
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dutch Tears 10 juin 2013
Par Charlie Bartel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
To say that Simon Kuper was meant to write this book is to ignore history. He wrote this book earlier in Dutch, and then decided (or was encouraged) to re-write (and add more) in English. And none of that matters.

More than any other Western European country Holland welcomed the Nazi if for no other reason than to make their occupation go smoothly. But when the war ended many in Dutch society tried to deny their past and act like they couldn't be blamed. It took a new generation, coming of age in the 60's to force the Dutch to live up to their past.

Kuper chooses Holland's most famous club, Ajax of Amsterdam. The Ajax stadium was located inside the Jewish section of the city. Many of the clubs directors and back room staff were Jews. No club suffered more at the hands of the Nazis and their compliant Dutch hosts. Kuper finds the survivors and gets their stories. I cried.

As Dutch society changed, driven by the post war generation, Ajax was reborn through a combination of English and Dutch coaches. They found and developed Europe's greatest ever player Johan Cruyff. Cruyff took his teammates to the heights of the European game with 3 consecutive European Cups and a runner up spot in the 1974 World Cup. He then left for Barcelona as a player and a manager. Spain has won the last two European Nation's Cup and the last World Cup, playing a system created and taught by Cruyff. Because of his time at Ajax it was assumed by many (especially Cruyff's many critics) that he came from a Jewish family. Cruyff denied that. Kuper suggests that those who made those claims were in fact the the the inheritors of the Nazi collaborators during the war, willing to trash the reputation of the country's greatest sporting hero to preserve anti-Semitic prejudices from the past. Cruyff escaped to Spain.

Kuper's book deals with painful memories. He doesn't hide from this. He faces Holland's past head on and makes the reader deeply feel for how the victims suffered. We live in an era of great football journalists like JIMMY BURNS, JOHN FOOT, and JONATHAN WILSON. SIMON KUPER with AJAX THE DUTCH, THE WAR takes his place at the head table. Read this book. Read all his books.
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