Józef Lustgarten (1889-1973)

Born on 1st November 1889 in Krakow, Józef Lustgarten, son of Wilhelm, was a footballer, sports official, coach of the national team, international referee as well as a lawyer.

A IIIrd Jan Sobieski Gymnasium graduate who studied law in Krakow and Vienna where he completed a judicial apprenticeship and successfuly passed a certified referee exam in 1913. During WWI, Lustgarten fought for the 1st Legion Brigade. In 1919, he obtained his PhD title and started his career as a clerk and a solicitor. After the end of WWI, Lustgarten made huge efforts to revive two local footbal clubs, greatly weakened by WWI , namely Cracovia and Wisła. His professional articles published in Przegląd Sportowy covering the topic of umpiring constituted a must-read for all aspiring would-be referees.

Apart from dealing with the theory of football, Lustgarten was also an active player. Between 1906-1911, he was a goalkeeper in Cracovia and what is worth noting, Lustgarten was the man behind the club’s name. Additionally, he was a co-originator of the constitution of the Polish Football Association, its honorary secretary as well as the presiding judge of the KOZPN Chamber. After WWII broke out, he went with his family to Łuck. In 1940, Lustgarten was sent to Siberia, however after the camp liquidation and thanks to the recommendation of the Polish Embassy, he became a ”steward” who was looking after Polish citizens. In 1943, after the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Poland, Lustgarten was arrested and relocated. After spending 13 years (!) in camps. he returned to Poland in 1954.
Józef Lustgarten, the co-originator of Polish football and a honorary President of KS Cracovia, passed away on 22nd September 1973 in Krakow.

Based on: Machabeusze sportu. Sport żydowski w Krakowie, Krakow 2012
Picture courtesy of www.wikipasy.pl