June 5, 1971 — a heavy and sustained thunderstorm on this particular day still cannot prevent 22,000 passionate spectators from turning out at the Rudolf Harbig Stadion in the “Florence on the Elbe” to see DYNAMO DRESDEN defeat visiting BSG Chemie Leipzig 3-1 and, therefore, clinch the 1970/71 Oberliga title with yet a full two matches to play in the scheduled 26-game season for the top flight of the German Democratic Republic.
Almost immediately after the draw in early October of 1973 at UEFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, set the West German club Bayern Munich against East German side DYNAMO DRESDEN in the second round of the European Cup of Champions, the idea to re-locate the second leg match to the massive Zentralstadion in Leipzig as a substitute for the much smaller DYNAMO STADION in the Elbflorenz was considered but quickly rejected.
Unfortunate for the cash register, then, as according to testimony given, the national stadium in the German Democratic Republic could have been filled three times over.
Dynamo Dresden club chairman WOLFGANG HAENEL later stated in a book about title-winning trainer WALTER FRITZSCH that more than 300,000 requests for tickets had flooded in from all over the city on the Elbe River. Laundry baskets spread about the team’s offices had been required to cope with all the correspondence. The fact of the matter was, however, that the Dynamo Stadion really only had room for 36,000 spectators.
Two thousand tickets off the top were sent to the visiting club Bayern Munich on the other side of the border. The lion’s share of the spaces at the Dynamo Stadion were to be reserved for Stasi security personnel and employees of state-owned companies, “deserving champions of labor and sport in the G.D.R.”, as described many years later by the well-known publication Der Spiegel. By the time all the political rewards were distributed accordingly, a total of only 8,000 tickets at the rather high cost of 8.10 Ostmark would be offered to the general public at large.
1972 Olympic bronze medalist and East Germany international defender SIEGMAR WAETZLICH (right), who would, in a few months time, feature in the D.D.R. Startelf for the famous match in Hamburg with West Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup final tournament, fires the game-winning goal for Dynamo Dresden in the 64th minute of the Oberliga match against visiting Hansa Rostock at the former Rudolf Harbig Stadion in late February during the 1973/74 football season.
Some of the more ambitious and desperate Dynamo supporters who did not have the proper political connections arrived in the city center of Dresden the night before the tickets for the big return match with Bayern Munich prepared for the cold with blankets, sleeping bags and a good supply of alcohol. According to the official Stasi report, the mostly younger crowd estimated at 2,200 would have grown even larger if not for “agitation” on the part of Dynamo Dresden sports officials as well as a variety of different security personnel. The last available tickets, which formally went on sale at nine o’clock in the morning, were all quickly snapped up within the hour.
Now, it had only been a little over two years since West Germany had gone to Warsaw and defeated Poland 3-1 in an international friendly with roughly 1,300 citizens of East Germany having crossed the border to attend the game. As was noted at the November 17, 1971, meeting of the S.E.D. Central Committee Secretariat, the rulers of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik were rather displeased to learn approximately two hundred of the East German travelers had allegedly ‘supported’ the West German team. Such displays of a pan-German identity ran counter to the new doctrine of the day as now put forth in Erich Hoenecker’s contemporary D.D.R. — that a distinct and separate (read, socialist) German Democratic Republic existed in direct contrast to the capitalist Federal Republic of Germany in the West.
One of the principal goals of the Ministry for State Security’s “Aktion Vorstoss” program implemented for the Bayern Munich v Dynamo Dresden fixture was to prevent any and all unwanted expressions from the East German football audience at the former Rudolf Harbig Stadion. This helps put into perspective exactly why so many tickets were passed out to the politcally-reliable. Even still, the Ministry for State Security were not in the mood to take any chances.
According to the official final report of secret mission entitled “Action Raid”, two out of every five spectators among the 36,000 Zuschauer at the Dynamo Stadion for the European Cup, second leg match between visiting Bayern Munich and Dynamo Dresden were, indeed, present working for the dreaded Stasi in some capacity, official or otherwise.