defending the honour of kiev ……

In 1942 in German-occupied Ukraine a football match took place between the Luftwaffe and a team from a local bakery largely comprised of members of the all-conquering pre-war Dynamo Kiev side. The match became an allegory of resistance; its consequences were brutal yet inspiring. A version of the story is the inspiration for the film Escape to Victory but this book uncovers the truth behind a legendary encounter, restoring to the centre of  World War Two a moment of extraordinary poignancy and bravery.

According to old Soviet Union version, the match was conducted in order to portray the best qualities of the Aryan race and force the footballers of Dynamo Kiev to play against the Luftwaffe team under the condition of loss or death. The Dynamo players did not heed the ultimatum, went on to win the match, and paid for their victory with their lives. They were all arrested and later executed by firing squad. Later sources only mentioned four deaths.

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