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“Trautmann” (ARD): A Nazi who became a football hero in England

During EM 2021, ARD will be showing a feature film with David Kross as the goalkeeping legend of ManCity.

Even after more than sixty years, the fans of Manchester City still get sparkling eyes when they mention his name: Bert Trautmann occupies a very special place in the club’s hall of fame. He was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world anyway, but he became a legend for keeping his box clean in the 1956 Cup final despite the tremendous pain in his neck. It was later found that a cervical vertebra was broken; A German of all people had risked his life for an English club.

The life of the native of Bremen, who died in 2013, provides the basis for “Trautmann”, the feature film on ARD. It is a great example of international understanding: he came to England as a prisoner of war in 1945, was discovered as a talented goalkeeper and moved to ManCity in 1949. His open manner, as well as his incredible parades, resulted in him being voted England’s Footballer of the Year eleven years after the end of World War II.

“Trautmann” (ARD): Big drama and real star cinema

For Marcus H. Rosenmüller this is a very unusual subject. The best-known work of Upper Bavaria is still his first work, the bizarre comedy “Whoever dies earlier is longer dead”; since then he has filmed a trilogy of drama about two young women (“Best Time”, “Best Area”, “Best Chance”, 2007 to 2014) in addition to “Summer in Orange” and “Whoever Believes in Bliss”. Measured against these modern homeland films, “Trautmann” (ARD) is an international large-scale production.

The film, shot in English in Bavaria and Northern Ireland, is a great drama thanks to the design (Daniel Gottschalk) and music (Gerd Baumann) and, thanks to David Kross, a real star cinema. The actor, who also became internationally known 13 years ago through his title role in “The Reader”, is an excellent cast, especially since he leaves no doubt about Trautmann’s exceptional talent in the football scenes.

“Trautmann” (ARD): A successful football film

Rosenmüller was so enthusiastic at the preliminary talk that he completely forgot to ask him if he could play goalkeeping; Fortunately, Kross also turned out to be a great talent in this regard. He embodies the title hero as a figure of identification, but also very credibly conveys a certain brokenness. The trio of authors (in addition to Rosenmüller, Nicholas J. Schofield and Robert Marciniak) have found an apt and ultimately depressing image: Trautmann repeatedly has visions of a little boy whom he saved from the arbitrariness of a soldier during the war. Only towards the end does it become clear that the story actually turned out very differently.

Although football is the number one popular sport in Europe, there are only a few really successful football films. Sönke Wortmann’s “Wunder von Bern” (2003) is still one of the best today, but Rosenmüller’s work must be mentioned in the same breath, especially since the corresponding scenes are superbly staged. For a long time, the authors tell the life of their hero like a love story, because Trautmann soon falls in love with the daughter of his trainer.

“Trautmann” (ARD): A football film like a romantic comedy

In many of these scenes the film looks like a romantic comedy; Freya Mavor, a Scottish woman who is hardly known even in Great Britain, is an equal partner for Kross. The demons of the war remain present anyway, because the young woman naturally also has certain reservations about the German. Nevertheless, the joke prevails, especially since John Henshaw embodies the coach like a homage to the grumpy farmer from the children’s cartoons “Shaun the Sheep”.

For info

“Trautmann”, Monday, July 5th, 2021, 8:15 pm on ARD or in the media library.

In contrast to the biography “Trautmanns Weg” by Catrine Clay (Die Werkstatt publishing house), which focuses on war experiences, the film largely reduces the goalkeeper’s life to the post-war period; the book is therefore a perfect addition. Reading reveals that Rosenmüller has allowed himself some artistic freedom, but that shouldn’t reduce the quality of the film. After all, the shooting for the cup final did not take place in Wembley, but in the Augsburg Rosenaustadion; Only the digital processing turned the 400 extras into 100,000 viewers.

Following “Trautmann”, ARD will show a documentation on the topic

The documentary “From the Nazi to the English football idol” (10:05 p.m.) shown on ARD is no less worth seeing, especially as it fills the historical gaps that a feature film is forced to leave. The authors Jan-Dirk Bruns and János Kereszti also put Trautmann’s time in England in the foreground, but they also tell what happened before: Like so many men of his generation, the young Bernhard (born in 1923) has been with the NS- Ideology has been indoctrinated; at the age of 17 he volunteered for the war on the eastern front.

For info

The documentary “From Nazi to English football idol” can then be seen at 10:05 pm on ARD or in the media library.

As in an ancient tragedy, he had to pay much later for the debt he took on as a soldier: Shortly after winning the cup, his young son died in a traffic accident. When Trautmann moved to City in 1949, there were considerable protests: The fans did not want a “Nazi in the gate”. Of all people, a rabbi who had fled Germany asked her to give the man a chance, and he took it. He was even greeted with applause at away games; he saw himself primarily as an “ambassador of reconciliation”. (Tilmann P. Gangloff)

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