Football Statues

No 23 (in a series of several): FC Start Memorial

This monument stands outside the Dynamo Stadium in Kiev and commemorates the lives of four Ukranian footballers who were executed by the Germans during World War II.

Ivan Kuzmenko, Mykola Trusevich, Olexiy Klimenko and Mykola Korotkikh were all members of FC Start a team formed during the Nazi occupation primarily with players from Dynamo Kiev. Dynamo, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and with the backing of the Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs, were considered a major power in world football.

Matches against teams Ukrainian nationalists, Hungarians and Rumanians were arranged by the Nazi with the express intent of humiliating the FC Start side – poor diets, amongst other things, had left a number of the players in poor health – and with it Communist ideology.

This backfired spectacularly as results went in favour of FC Start and morale amongst the local population soared as they followed the exploits of their new team. Only one thing for the Germans to do and that was arrange for FC Start to take on the crack Luftwaffe side Flakelf. But, not only did FC Start win the first game, but also a rematch. Flakelf were humiliated.

Four players from the FC Start side were later rounded up and sent to a detention camp from which they disappeared, believed executed.

Picture from here.

More football statues here and here.


5 responses to this post.

  1. I tried looking for this on two separate occasions without success. Even asked (admittedly in very broken Russian) in the club shop, who tried directing me to the huge Soviet War Memorial at Rodyna Mat.


  2. Posted by prideofanglia on November 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I first read about the so called ‘Death Match’ (and monument) in the very readable ‘Dynamo: Defending The Honour of Kiev’ by Andy Dougan. I’ve travelled extensively in Western Europe but have only made it to the ‘East’ on a couple of occasions. A shame as I have a huge list of places that I would like to visit there, including Kiev.

    Using google maps it looks as though the monument is on the edge of parkland adjacent to the main entrance to Dynamo Stadium…

    …maybe that will help you out on a future visit.


  3. That explains it. As I suspected at the time, there’s a locked gate between the Death Match monument and the statue of Lobanovskyi. You’d only be able to see it on matchdays or – as I found out on my first visit – by paying a security guard to take your photo with old Valeriy.


  4. Thanks, by the way.


  5. […] to FC Start at the Kiev stadium: photo links here and here. These are clearly evidence that some people thought something important had happened at FC Start. […]


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