The Significance of Kurt Landauer
Firstly and foremost, Kurt Landauer stands for success. Numerous regional titles, the first German championship victory, the training ground at the Säbener Strasse as building blocks for further triumphs. For all of this FC Bayern hast to thank its Honorary President. Behind the successful sportsman though, there is more. The story of the person Kurt Landauer represents more than “just” titles, goals and trophies.
Kurt Landauer – Open to the World
During a time in which many football teams were very internally focused on Germany, Kurt Landauer constantly pushed for FC Bayern to orientate itself outwards, to the world. Not only were the origins of the players not important, the president even specifically sought to bring foreign influence to Munich to improve the team’s game. In 1913 during Landauer's first short term of office, William Townley, a proponent the Scottish short-passing style took over the trainers job. Later Landauer recruited Leo Weisz und Kálmán Konrad two representatives oft he Hungarian „Danube Football“ style. The man behind the Austrian champions, Richard „Little Dombi“ Kohn was also part of this football school.
To the extreme annoyance of conservative football officials and the DFB, these weren’t the only foreign influences in German and in particular Munich football. Landauer didn’t just want that the team learned from trainers the the most advance tactical and technically advanced skills in the field, they should also play with a smooth and experienced style. Thus FC Bayern played a large number of international games, including, perhaps especially against clubs from the former war enemy England. That there were some heavy defeats didn’t put him off.
Common human understanding in sport, a love of football and the beauty of the game were more important for him than any country’s borders or national animosities.
Kurt Landauer – The Professional
There was another issue on which Landauer had a position diametrically opposite that of the DFB. The football bosses were vehemently opposed to the introduction of professional players and held tight to the principle of amateur status as a basic principle of German football. This was bound up with chauvinist thought, the idea that professional sport was a symptom of national decline was widespread..
Kurt Landauer didn’t have time for these ideas; his focus lay in the development of competitive sport. That players should be duly paid so as to be able to fully concentrate on playing football was of primary interest for him. Likewise he believed that structured work with new players was needed. FC Bayern was therefore one of the first clubs in Germany that supported the development of football with its own youth team, run by Otto Beer.
Kurt Landauer – The Memorial
Kurt Landauers ideas don’t fit in with ideas that were standard at the time. He and his family early victims of Nazi terror, that makes his a man that we should still remember a warning oft he tendencies we still have in society today. People who reject openness, solidarity and have no desire for peaceful coexistence. The story of Kurt Landauer is a prime example of what happens when such people take control of the field and their hostile vision is allowed to dominate.
Kurt Landauer – The Forgotten Man
As we learned more in the 00 years about the life and influence of Kurt Landauer, the question came to the fore how it could be that such a fascinating history could have been so forgotten. Thanks to the efforts of many people who brought him back into the public consciousness, Kurt Landauer was created an Honorary President of FC Bayern in 2013. He’s taken the place he deserves. Not everyone, not every member played such a key role as Kurt Landauer in the story of FC Bayern, but there are surely many more valuable stories in the club’s history. These stories should see the light of day.
The FCB „Erlebniswelt“ is a fantastic step in the right direction here and does great work. Kurt Landauer’s story shows that it pays to engage with your own history.
Kurt Landauer and the „FC Bayern Family“
Alongside the old stories we should also honor and think of those who can still tell us about these times, or are still creating history. The term “FC Bayern Family” is readily used, but it’s these people who make it what it is. Those who have worked, or work for the club, some of whom didn’t see huge financial benefit. Kurt Landauer was part of this family; the club was his family that he gave everything for, in the most extraordinary way.
If we want to really live the “FC Bayern Family” idea then we need to take care of members fallen on hard times, they especially shouldn’t be forgotten.