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“In the aftermath of the 1936/37 season, which saw the Bees finish 6th in the First Division, Brentford headed east to Nazi Germany to play a series of friendly fixtures”

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Uwe Rosler will take his Brentford squad to his native Germany this summer as part of pre-season preparations for next season. The Bees will spend a week in Leipzig, the city where Rosler started his football career, playing three fixtures against teams yet to be confirmed.

This won’t be the first time Brentford play on German soil. In the aftermath of the 1936/37 season, which saw the Bees finish 6th in the First Division, Brentford headed east to Nazi Germany to play a series of friendly fixtures.

A convincing 3-0 win over SV Hamburg was followed up with an even more resounding 4-0 thumping of Hertha Berlin. The west Londoners recorded an impressive 2-2 draw with then German champions FC Nuremberg before ending the tour with a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Schalke 04.

The final match will however be remembered for events prior to kick-off. The Brentford starting eleven, out of courtesy to their hosts, gave the Nazi salute during the German national anthem - a gesture repeated by the English national team the following year at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. This saw that the Bees would take a hammering in the press back home, as well as on the pitch.

The performances in the first three games earned the visitors rave reviews from the German press. One headline read, ‘Brentford besiegt den Berliner Fussballmeister’ which translates to ‘Brentford besiege Berlin’s crack football team’.

Another article spoke of how Brentford “played with such technical and tactical brilliance and with such uncanny preparedness and with such complete and cold-blooded sureness that it outstand the Berliners and was a supreme delight on the eye”. The following season, the Bees would go on to finish in the top six of the First Division for the third successive campaign.

Perhaps Rosler’s Brentford will return to Germany and gain equally impressive reports as the boys of ‘37. And perhaps next season’s squad will also follow it up with a finish in the top six, albeit in the third tier. That is to be seen. For the time being, I’m sure players and fans alike are looking forward to the trip.

To follow Tom on Twitter, go to @griffinparktom

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