Alberto Krug was 24 years old, he was a member of Montoneros (the guerrilla of the Peronist left) and he was a fan of Racing de Avellaneda. On Friday, December 2, 1976, he was kidnapped by the dictatorship and disappeared. But his mother, Rosa Moltedo, continued to pay her membership fee for years. I thought that if Alberto came back one day he would really want to go to the Cylinder to see Racing. Alberto, of course, did not return. Over time it was learned that he was tortured at the Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA) and thrown into the Río de la Plata.
Stories like this have decided the Racing board of directors to pay tribute to its partners and followers who disappeared during the dictatorship. “We had to pay this debt with his memory,” said the president, Víctor Blanco. Those disappeared victims will regain the status of partners. Since they are gone, they will be partners forever. “We keep tracking and looking for names,” says sociologist Julián Scher, racinguista and author of the book The missing of Racing (2017).
On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, early, one day before the 45th anniversary of the military coup that plunged Argentina into horror, Julián Scher and Carlos Krug meet at the Cilindro, the popular name of the Juan Domingo Perón Stadium. Carlos Krug is the brother of the late Alberto Krug. Scher is going to show Krug something he has never seen: the registration form of the two brothers, Carlos and Alberto, as Racing partners. It is a document from June 1964 and the handwriting is from the father, Federico Krug, because the boys were minors.
“My mother continued to pay Alberto’s fees,” Carlos recalls. He did so until 1980, when his father died, his heart destroyed by bitterness. “It was I who told my mother not to pay more, that Alberto was not going to come back,” she says. Shortly after, Rosa Moltedo began to walk around the Plaza de Mayo with other mothers of the disappeared. “Every December 2, until she passed away six years ago, my mother lost her memory, fell ill, suffered with the memory.” “Then”, he adds, “I would go back and survive.”
Carlos and Alberto were only one year apart. Both were Racing fans (despite being born in Boedo, San Lorenzo fiefdom), both worked at the Banco Nación and both were members of the Peronist Youth and the Revolutionary Movement 17 de Octubre. “If there was a Racing game, we were late to the political meetings and we won more than one fight,” explains Carlos Krug. When Montoneros began to settle, Carlos, already married and with a son, moved away from the militant life. Alberto, on the other hand, went into hiding. Not even his family knew where he lived. The place where the Krugs were, hidden in the crowd, was the Cylinder bleacher on match days. The sentimental charge of the place is very intense for Carlos.
Carlos Krug, now retired, was, along with Osvaldo Santoro, Carlos Ulanovsky, Miguel Laborde and Jorge Watts, one of the five Racing partners who proposed a tribute to the disappeared a few months ago. Watts, kidnapped and disappeared for months in 1976 in the torture centers of the military, died of covid-19 last day 3. “I am moved by this act of reparation that is being prepared,” says Carlos.
The Krug family (the surname comes from Jews fled from Nazism) suffered all the brutalities of the dictatorship. Weeks after Alberto’s kidnapping, the parents’ home was invaded by a group of hitmen aboard the sinister green Ford Falcon. “My old woman knelt and cried, she asked for Alberto, but no case,” Carlos recalls. The father made dozens of habeas corpus and he even met with the Minister of the Interior, General Albano Arguindegui. All useless.
In 1979, a friend of a neighbor appeared at the Krug’s house and Carlos established a relationship with him. The alleged friend even told him that he knew where Alberto was, that they could go visit him in Bahía Blanca. He was a Navy infiltrator who was probably looking for information on Carlos in case they decided that he too should disappear. “The Falcons harassed me and I came to say hello, it seems incredible, right?” In the end, the military spy vanished and Carlos remained alive. “They thought I wasn’t worth it, I guess.”
Racing, which built its stadium (1951) and an unbeatable team thanks to the help of the Government of Juan Domingo Perón, had a bitter final clash with a dying dictatorship. On December 18, 1983, a week after Raúl Alfonsín assumed the presidency and put an end to the military government, Racing lost in Cylinder 4-3 against Racing de Córdoba and fell for the first and only time in its history. “You can’t imagine the silence that was here after the game,” explains Carlos Krug. Despite the silence and grief, the police entered the stadium on horseback and beat up the crowd. It was the last great charge of the dictatorship’s police.