Posted: 11/9/2009


     It was an historic day in Berlin, November 9th, 1989 and many of you witnessed it live in the TV News and many times later.

     This day the DDR and the wall crumbled, as the gates between East and West were opened and the masses celebrated.  Thirty years of a divided nation was virtually over and the border guards and the despised Stasi did not intervene.  I had been through 'Checkpoint Charlie' a couple of times in the 1970's when the border guards confiscated any Western magazines and looked in the vehicles and underneath with mirrors. You had to change 10 West German Deutschmarks for worthless DDR Marks but there was nothing worth buying on a short visit.

     It was also the beginning of the end for both the DDR national league and for the DVF(Deuttscher Fussball Verband) the soccer federation, whose office was on the Under den Linden on the other side of the wall and the Brandenburg Gate.  At the beginning of the month Dynamo Dresden led Leipzig in the league and had just beaten 1 FC Magdeburg 3-1 the day before.   In the Bundesliga in West Germany, 1 FC Koln were just ahead of Bayern Munchen and Bayer Leverkusen, separated at the top by goal difference. There were 4 types of clubs in The Oberliga, as it was called.

     Those called Dynamo were run by the Stasi, teams called Vorwarts by the Ministry of Defence, Works teams such as Traktor Gross-Lindau, and fourth, independent clubs. The Stasi moved clubs around. One day they went to Dynamo Dresden and moved the club to become Dynamo Berlin. They bribed and intimidated referees and made players move. They were even accused of murdering the player Lutz Eigendorf when he defected to the West.

     Eduard Geyer was coaching the DDR national team and they then lost 3-0 to Austria and didn't make ITALIA '90, the upcoming FIFA World Cup. He was the last coach of DDR. Scouts  rushed to the East looking for top talent and on December 12 ANDREUS THOM was the first to join the Bundesliga and put pen to paper with Bayer Leverkusen and left BFC Dynamo . Mathias Sammer  left Dynamo Dresden for VfB Stuttgart, Ulf Kirsch also left Dresden for Leverkusen, Thomas Doll from BFC to Hamburg, and hundreds followed in the next few years.

     On July 19th, 1990 it was agreed that the DFB in the west would intergrate the DFV and its state associations and clubs. Bundesliga I expanded to 20 clubs for the season 1991-92 and Bundesliga II to 24 clubs, split into 2 sections.   On May 25th, 1991, Hansa Rostock were the last champions in the East and joined Bundesliga I with Dresden. Erfurt, Halle, Chemnitz and Jena  joined Bundesliga II, later joined by VfB Leipzig, and Stahl Brandenburg. Rostock beat 1 FC Nurnberg 4-0 on opening day to top Bundesliga I on matchday 1.

      Helmut Schon, who was the coach of West Germany when they beat Holland 2-1 in the 1974 World Cup Final  had moved West in the late '50s from coaching Saxony.  DDR's first international match was away to Poland in 1952, losing 3-0 and in 1953 hosted Bulgaria in a 0-0 draw in Dresden. Their first World Cup encounter at home was against Wales on 19th May, 1957 in front of 120,000 fans at the Zentral Stadion Leipzig. 500,000 had applied for tickets. They won 2-1.

      In 1974, their only World Cup finals, was in West Germany. Both East and West Germany were in the same group, and both had beaten Chile and Australia and qualified for the next round. They played each other in the third match in Hamburg with DDR winning 1-0 with a goal from Jurgen Sparwasser. DDR lost to Holland and Brazil in round 2 and tied Argentina . West Germany of course went on to win their second World Cup title.   In the Olympic Games, DDR was more successful, winning bronze in Tokyo in 1964, gold in Mexico City 76 and silver in Moscow in 1980.