The yellow-shirted Startelf for East German Oberliga champion DYNAMO DRESDEN line-up on the pitch of the Olympiastadion in Munich just prior to the start of the first leg of the historic European Cup tie opposite West German titlist Bayern Munich on October 24, 1973.
left to right — Gert HEIDLER, Rainer SACHSE, Claus BODEN, Reinhard HAEFNER, Hans-Juergen DOERNER, Siegmar WAETZLICH, Christian HELM, Hartmut SCHADE, Eduard GEYER, Horst RAU and captain FRANK GANZERA
Although most of the 50,000 spectators at Munich’s Olympic Stadium in late October of 1973, most likely, did not realize such, it was actually a noteworthy accomplishment that DYNAMO DRESDEN were even a first division football club in the first place, let alone champions of the German Democratic Republic’s Oberliga competing in the prestigous European Cup tournament.
Less than two decades earlier, SG Dynamo Dresden had made a rapid descent from national champion to regional league (fourth division) side, all as a result of the direct intervention from politically-motivated central authority at the very highest level of government.
The club had been founded in 1950 as SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden representing the local police, who were actually a part of the national police force in accordance with the contemporary East German domestic structure. After the national sports society (for all police clubs) SV Dynamo was founded in April of 1953, the Dresden club was re-named SG Dynamo. During this same time period, the team led by star goal-scorer GUENTER SCHROETER celebrated its first-ever national football championship at the conclusion of the 1952-53 Oberliga campaign.
To the north in the Soviet-occupied sector of Berlin, however, the G.D.R. Minister of State Security, the extremely influential General ERICH MIELKE, was rather unhappy. The capital city lacked a powerful football club to better represent the ideals and virtues of the superior East German Socialist state, the notorious spy master concluded. As director of the Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit, the ambitious Mielke had complete control over all law enforcement in the country and, thus, simply transferred Dresden’ first team — all of the players, technically, being policemen — en masse to the club under his personal control, FC Dynamo Berlin.
Amazingly enough, this ‘re-assignment’ went off in January of 1955 — right smack in the middle of football season. What’s worse, the remainder of Dynamo Dresden were ordered out of the Oberliga immediately and dropped into the second division to replace SC DHfK Leipzig. Left to carry on with reserve and youth team players, Dynamo Dresden soon found itself kicking in the fourth division by the 1956-57 season.
With typical German determination and resolve, the club would recover and worked itself back into the Oberliga by the early 1960s. The team were relegated twice more during this decade but resilient Dynamo Dresden bounced right back up to the top flight, though, at the first attempt on both occasions with a pair of second divison (D.D.R.-Liga) crowns, the latter coming in 1969. Two years later, trainer WALTER FRITZSCH succeeded in steering Dynamo Dresden to its second-ever Oberliga title.
East Germany international HAN-JUERGEN KREISCHE (10) of Dynamo Dresden ranks third on the all-time list for the D.D.R. with 22 goals. Trailing on the left here prior to the start of the historic meeting at 1974 FIFA World Cup is superstar striker GERD MUELLER (13) of Bayern Munich, the all-time leading marksman for West Germany with 68 international goals. Kreische’s father had been a teammate of Helmut Schoen, the trainer for West Germany at the first and last all-German international derby match who had simply driven across the border in his car roughly a decade before the Berlin Wall went up, on SC Dresden’s national champion sides in 1943 and 1944.
Fortified mainly by a cast of emerging youngsters such as talented sweeper HANS-JUERGEN DOERNER and midfielder REINHARD HAEFNER, Dynamo Dresden captured yet another Oberliga title in 1973. The Saxon club, who featured a pair of defenders who had won a bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games hosted by the city of Munich, captain FRANK GANZERA and SIEGMAR WAETZLICH, then claimed the notable scalp of Italian Serie A giant FC Juventus of Turin in the first round of the European Cup. The eye-opening draw with Bundesligakoenig Bayern Munich afforded Oberligameister Dynamo Dresden the mouth-watering opportunity to prove themselves to be the true champion of all German football.
Dynamo Dresden would, however, be forced to face the Federal Republic of Germany’s representative without its leading goal-scorer. HANS-JUERGEN KREISCHE, who would be chosen as the G.D.R.’s Footballer of the Year for 1973, had been seriously injured playing for East Germany in a World Cup qualification match with Romania the previous May and was out long-term. A major handicap, then, as Kreische had recorded 26 goals in 25 Oberliga matches during the 1972-73 campaign to become the East German Torjaegermeister for the third year running.
Undaunted and enthusiastically supported by seemingly all of the citizens in its home city, Dynamo Dresden crossed the border dividing Germany and made its way to Bavaria to face mighty Bayern Munich nevertheless.
East Germany international HANS-JUERGEN KREISCHE of Dynamo Dresden (right), a 1972 Olympic bronze medalist who finished as Torjaegermeister in the Oberliga on four occasions over the course of his distinguished career, scores one of his 131 goals in the top flight of the D.D.R. here opposite FC Carl Zeiss Jena at the Rudolf Harbig Stadion in Saxony in early May of 1976.