June 22, 1974 … the national teams of WEST GERMANY (Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Federal Republic of Germany) and EAST GERMANY (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – German Democratic Republic) line-up just prior to the start of the historic as well as one and only ever All-Deutschland Derby which took place at the old Volksparkstadion in the West German city of Hamburg during the 1974 FIFA World Cup final tournament.
“Wir sind ein Volk!” — “We are one people!” This was the resounding echo that could be heard throughout the former East Germany in the months leading up to the symbolic fall of the notorious Berlin Wall in the fall of 1989. Less than one year later, the German Democratic Republic ceased to exist as a state having been formally absorbed by the Federal Republic of Germany.
It is, if not very well-known across the globe, the third of October which is now celebrated annually as “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” — Day of German Unity.
With all this in mind, it is interesting to note that aging Bayer Leverkusen midfielder MICHAEL BALLACK, an international stalwart who stands eighth on the all-time list having netted 42 goals for the national team of Germany in his career, would have otherwise been wearing the football kit of the bygone D.D.R. had not history worked out as it did. The same can be said for Bayern Munich midfielder TONI KROOS, the 21-year-old native of Greifswald who scored Germany’s first goal in their last international match this past September with neighboring Poland. These would be, of course, just two examples for the national team in the two decades that have passed since the Mauerfall.
Here at this blog, it has been officially declared “WOCHE DER DEUTSCHEN EINHEIT” — after all, what is normally a celebration of German football, anyway, never needs much but is always more than happy to accept encouragement from the old calendar at every opportunity.
ZWEI SPIELFUEHRER FUER DEUTSCHLAND — The captains for the two respective teams, East Germany’s BERND BRANSCH of FC Carl Zeiss Jena (left) and West Germany’s FRANZ BECKENBAUER of Bayern Munich, leave the field at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg after the historic All-Deutschland Derby at the 1974 FIFA World Cup final tournament.
For more here on the one and only senior international match ever staged between the Bundesrepublik Deutschland and the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, please see :
“1974 World Cup : East Germany 1 – West Germany 0”
“Hamburg ’74 : East Germany vs West Germany – Match Facts / Highlights”
“Q & A : East Germany vs West Germany”