Bayern Munich are widely recognized as one of the most decorated European clubs in the history of football. Founded in 1900, they’re one of the oldest clubs to have hit the high time from Germany.
The Bavarians have won the German Bundesliga (top division) title a record 32 times – more than any other club in the country. They’ve won the Champions League six times, DFB-Pokal (German FA Cup) 20 times and even the FIFA Club World Cup twice in their history.
One rather fascinating thing to note is the ‘evolution’ of Bayern’s club crest.
Their first-ever crest was a far cry from the current one, with the original crest just a white flag with blue stripes and a blue pole holding it. It also had a pattern in the middle, but this crest wasn’t that well taken by the fans.
As a result, their crest design kept on changing all through the last century. In fact, the design was changed nine times from 1900-2000, but one particular crest design was very controversial.
The crest from 1938-1945 is often hidden by Bayern fans because of its dark and depressing past.
In 1939, the Bavarians were forced into changing their crest to put the Nazi Swastika emblem in the middle of their own logo. While the German club are sometimes mocked by opposition fans for being a ‘Nazi club’ during the Second World War, that wasn’t the case at all.
They were basically forced to put the Swastika sign on their crest by Adolf Hitler’s party because of a rule that was created that any club that simply wanted to exist had to plead their allegiance to the Nazis by placing their emblem on their crests.
In 1938, Bayern’s president Kurt Landauer was jailed for being a jew and he barely managed to escape prison.
The club found themselves in hot water as some of their officials reportedly visited Landauer in exile. After that, Bayern became one of the clubs despised by the Nazi party.
They were ridiculed for having a strong Jewish background before the Nazis came into power in Germany. They were even given a disgusting antisemitic nickname of ‘Judenklub’, which basically translates to ‘Jew Club’.
Bayern struggled to get much success during the period when they had to brandish the Swastika on their crest, with rivals TSV 1860 Munich being the much popular and successful club during that time.
However, despite being forced to undergo that kind of embarrassment, FC Bayern did not break as a club. They fought through years of humiliation and struggle, before being able to finally change their crest in 1945 after Hitler’s party was defeated in Germany.
They changed their logo to the blue one that had been designed in 1923 before their round-shaped crest was born in 1954.
Bayern did not really want to talk about their humiliations during the World War II years, but in 2012, they published a book in which they embraced the past and even branded Kurt Landauer as ‘the father of modern FC Bayern’.
Now known as ‘FC Hollywood’ because of their sheer success in the post-war decades, Bayern remains a club with respectable morals and values that are unlikely to be ever betrayed.