Weisz Árpád was born into a Jewish family living in Solt, Western Hungary, in 1896. He grew up to be a talented left-winger at a time when Hungary was a leading football nation. He was in the Hungary team, captained by Bela Guttman, at the 1924 Olympic Games. In 1925 he moved to Italy to play for Padova; soon afterwards he was signed by Inter Milan.
The Great Manager
The promising career of Weisz Árpád as a player was ended by a serious injury in 1926. He spent a year in South America before returning to Italy as manager of Inter Milan. He proved to be one of the great managers. He won league titles with Inter in 1930, and with Bologna in 1936 and 1937. Still only 41 years old, Weisz Árpád seemed destined for even greater achievements. But in 1938, Mussolini’s Fascist regime followed Hitler’s lead and introduced the Italian Racial Laws.
Arpad Weisz left Italy in 1938, to avoid anti-Jewish persecution. He went to the Netherlands to coach FC Dordrecht, but again had to flee after the German invasion in 1940. He returned to Hungary, believing his family would be safe there. In 1944 the Hungarian government caved in to pressure from the Nazis; 400.000 Jews were deported from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Weisz Árpád, with his wife and children, were killed there in 1944.
Árpád Weisz was talented and well-educated. He achieved great success, both as a footballer and a coach. He loved Italy, especially Milan, and Italians loved him. But Weisz was driven into exile after Mussolini imposed racial laws on Italy. Then the threat of persecution forced him out of the Netherlands; eventually, he and his family were deported to Auschwitz, where they were killed.
Educators could look at the life story of Weisz and work with young people to consider these questions:
- Why was it so hard for Weisz to keep his cosmopolitan Jewish-Hungarian-Italian identity?
- What does Arpad Weisz’s life story tell us about, football, politics, migration and identity?
Árpád Weisz (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
LIFE STORIES To discover now
Do you wanna know more?
HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.
Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.
Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.
In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
BBC Sport’s Football Focus visits Bundesliga side FC Union Berlin, a “rebellious” football club from East Berlin with a special set of fans, playing their first season in Germany’s top flight 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
A class of high school history students in Oslo was asked to create an ideal starting XI line-up based on Human Rights. Find out why and how it went.
A loving fan and musician put together his two passions and created this compilation of tunes from the Jazz Age.
Prayer days on stadiums, faith rooms and inclusive chants: here is how English football is adapting to a changing world.
Engage young people through Football Makes History’s own Guidebook and Toolkit for promoting social inclusion in formal education or Non-formal settings
Telling the history of a city through football stories: a celebration of Amsterdam.