In 2008, a report from a top publication in the UK listed the 'Top 50 worst famous football fans' claiming that late German political leader Adolf Hitler was a Schalke fan. The list also revealed deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's love for Arsenal as most fans and clubs took the mickey claims in their stride with a pinch of salt. The list resulted in more jokes about football clubs rather than basing strong facts or accusations.
However, six years later, Bundesliga side Schalke opted to respond those reports which claimed that Adolf Hitler supported the seven-time German champions, in an ovation-worthy reply from the club's Head of Media & PR, Gerd Voss.
The list of 'Top 50 worst famous football fans' was published by The Times in 2008 and in it were a number of controversial names including Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Landen, Sylvester Stallone etc. The claim of an 'Adolf Hitler Schalke fan' story stormed the internet at the time as Bundesliga fans were eager to know the answer to the question, 'Was Hitler a Schalke fan?' By creating havoc on social media, the 'Adolf Hitler Schalke fan' news spread like wildfire, with more trolls and jokes stemming from the reports. It wasn't until six years later that a Schalke response rubbished claims and put an end to the 'Adolf Hitler Schalke fan' news.
Excellent response from FC Schalke's Head of PR to newspaper who claimed that Hitler was a fan: pic.twitter.com/PFDOavDkC2— Andrew Bloch (@AndrewBloch) November 26, 2014
The 'Adolf Hitler Schalke fan' news was called out by Schalke's Head of Media & PR, Gerd Voss in 2014. A wonderfully drafted response from Voss laid out a detailed explanation as to why the late German political leader had no affiliation nor affection toward the Bundesliga side or football in general. The Schalke response began with the club having no idea that Adolf Hitler was a fan of the team from the Ruhr region until they read the report which published in 2008. It was surprising that such a well-reputed publication like The Times was capable of making such a remark.
Schalke then gave a detailed explanation on how they 'double-checked' for any stand which could have possibly been named 'Fuhrer stand' during Adolf Hitler's rule from 1933 till 1945, but failed to find it. The Schalke response continued to state why Adolf Hitler might have never been a Schalke fan, let alone a football fan as he never bothered to attend games at the Olympic Stadium near his house in Berlin, despite Schalke making it to the Championship final.
'Perhaps he was busier with genocidal policies', the reply continued, basing facts on scientific research done in 2004. While the authors of The Times claimed that Schalke won six championships during the Third Reich due to the support of the Nazi's, the Bundesliga side rubbished those claims insisting that the Nazis wanted to take the credit for supporting one of the best teams in Germany since 1927. Towards the end of the response, Schalke revealed that although Hitler did make one appearance at a football game during the Olympics in 1936, Germany lost 0-2 against Norway.
To conclude their explanation of the fake 'Adolf Hitler Schalke fan' news, Schalke clarified that Hitler's idea of a superior German race was never in tandem with being successful in football. The response finally stated that using Schalke's success of winning league titles during Adolf Hitler's reign would be similar to making accusations like former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher supporting Liverpool due to the dominance of the Merseyside club during the 70s and 80s.