Title: Hard Gras 39 – Zij waren beter
Author: Several (Hugo Borst, Christoph Dieckmann, Anna Enquist, Georg M. Oswald, Barber van de Pol a.o.)
# Pages: 112 (11898)
Category: Sports (Football)
ISBN: 90-204-0654-X (3-89533-468-5)
Many Dutch people have two major traumas when it comes to Germans. The Second World War is an obvious one, but for many of us, born afterwards, the trauma of 1974 is even bigger. Losing the world cup final is worse than 5 years of war, in the eyes of many. Laugh, ridicule, but this is how things are, better take it seriously.
The editors of Hard Gras did take it seriously and came with a themed number, 30 years after the fatal 7th of July 1974 (on par with where were you when JFK was killed, the first man on the moon etc.). It did so by not just asking Dutch authors to write something, but also several German authors. Hence this book can be read in two languages. On the front one sees the fatal dive Hölzenbein took when he saw Wim Jansen’s leg to gain a penalty for the Germans (and fame for the rest of his life as a diver), turn the book around and one sees Sepp Maier German goalie with the world cup on his head, one can read the same book in German.
Apart from the standard class piece by Hugo Borst (‘wo is hier der Altstadt’, asks a German in Rotterdam. A cynical joke, as the Germans bombed that city in 1940), the highlight for me is the story by Dietmar Jacobs. He has to invite two dodgy locals into his home to watch the final, but regrets this a lot, when they turn out to be even worse than he anticipated and he ended up in hospital after one of them fell on the table and dislocated his jaw. Funny story, great end.
History and football do go together. This volume proves that.