2015-02-03 Munich

2015-02-03 with the Ultras at Alianz Arena

Updated about a week ago

Welcome to the crowd.

Schickeria Munich were silent.

For 5 minutes the Allianz Arena in Munich paid respect to Fabi, a 21 year old supporter who died of a stroke he suffered during a game on December 13th, 2014.

The Schalke 04 fans held back their chants as well.

The opening 5 minutes of football could have been played in an opera house.

Black trash bags and red hearts, framed a roll up of the face that was missing.

Bayern Munich football club, one of the biggest, most successful sports corporations in the world was reminded again - the crowd is the voice of an individual and another and another and another.

The official Bayern Twitter feed reported the silence continued for 13 minutes, twice as long as what happened in reality. That sums up the Schikeria effect.

And when they exploded into vocal action, they were quickly punished with a Schalke penalty kick, a Bayern red card and everything happened in front of the South curve where they stand.

The action on the field did not stop the beat in the stands for a second. In fact the crescendo amplified behind Emmanuel Neuer's goal. No one seemed surprised when the German national team goalkeeper calmly lay down on his left shoulder and easily stopped the badly directed penalty.

The beat continued for the rest of the game as the crowd made up for Bayern's missing player.

The Ultras have the reputation of being the most fanatical section of the crowd. The threat of violence hangs over their heads as they are escorted in and out of the stadium.

Today they play an important role in the double feature show that 75000 people pay to experience. A concert on the pitch by virtue of a hundred million Euro orchestra and a choreography behind the goal in the 15 euro standing area.

The attraction to the spectacle is not in the warmth of a symbiotic relationship breeding success but it it hovers in the psychological tension caused by the fiercely independent political will of these dedicated revolutionaries to impose their agenda on the establishment.

The Jewish identity of Kurt Landauer, Bayern Munich's legendary President before and after the Second World War, was buried deep in the pages of the club's historical archive. Schikeria broke the taboo when they unfurled a huge image of Landauer in 2007.

Further research and activities were recognized by the DFB Julius Hirsch award in 2014.

Last week they commemorated the memory of William Bousset.

While the anarchic clockwork orange image mixed with the Che Guevara style may seem like a patent for catastrophe the driving force behind the group is the true revolution. They are against anti - Semitism, against Discrimination, against race prejudice and stand up for minority rights. Unlike the crowds at rock concerts they do not spend the game in selfie land. YouTube videos on Facebook are not their style and they prefer anonymity because they understand they are the rebels in the Ultra scene outside Munich.

These new wave groups within the Ultra culture are finding their voice in stands around Germany. We met them in Bremen and watched them in Dortmund. In Leipzig, they have stepped forward into political forums.

The arena in which they operate is uncompromising. If need be they are ready to fight.

They know danger and understand strength in numbers. The respect for law is not based on the naive belief that the authorities are there to protect them. It comes from credit they imbue on the system which has slowly come around to embracing their values and

Breaking down Historical stigma

The quest of Oded Breda to uncover the fate of his uncle in the Film Liga Terezin, shows the quest of the individual can make a difference.

The impact of the individual in the Munich crowd

Shows how Schikeria make a difference