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The mystery of the great footballer who defied the Nazis

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Matthias Sindelar (Google Images)

To say that Matthias Sindelar is not universally well known would be an understatement. He played for FK Austria Vienna and the Austrian national team throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

His obscurity is even more perplexing given the fact that he was compared to Pele and many other football legends of the era. He was even once known at the time as “The Mozart of football” or Der Papierene (“The Paper Man”) for his speed and ability to seemingly float on the pitch.

Yet in a country not renowned for its incredible sporting talent it is inexplicable that there is no enduring memory of the man. No statues, plaques, no biopic, no exhibition, and most importantly, no conclusive investigation into his suspicious and sudden death. …


Monopoly and POW’s in the Second World War

Monopoly is not something immediately associated with the Second World War. However, this hugely popular household board game proved to be an invaluable tool in ensuring the freedom of imprisoned Allied pilots. It seems that ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ took on a literal meaning years ago.

Allied soldiers imprisoned in German POW camps were allowed to receive gifts under the Geneva Convention and, in particular, boardgames soared in popularity as they were permitted, along with packages from aid agencies that continued to operate in times of war. …


Scholars and researchers agree on the year that was worse than any other

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Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

2020 has already been immortalised. It is a year that nobody will forget. However, when speaking of the worst year recorded in human history there are many to choose from:

The year 1349 saw the Black Death kill half the population of Europe.

In 1520 smallpox ravaged the Americas and killed between 60 and 90 per cent of the continents’ original inhabitants.

In 1918 the Spanish Flu led to the deaths of over 50 million people.

The rise of Hitler in 1933 is often claimed to be the turning point in modern history.

However, historians are unanimous in their choice. The title of the worst year in history is easily held by the year 536 AD.

About

Saamir Ansari

Londoner, in search of eudaimonia, would love to retire at Walden Pond

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