Andreas implemented for papers to go away East Germany in 1986. After a three-year wait his request was once granted in July 1989. “As a 24-year-old I used to be able for the west,” he says. Like everybody else he had little concept what would occur in simply 4 months time. I ask him the place within the west he sought after to move. “To West Berlin,” he replies.
At the eve of the anniversary of the autumn of the Berlin Wall, Andreas’s workforce Berliner FC Dynamo is in west Berlin, taking part in away in a Regionalliga Nordost fixture within the German fourth department. House to FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, the Lichterfelde stadium is simply 10 miles from the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark within the north-east, the place Berliner FC Dynamo performs. It’s simple to attract a line during the town from one floor to the opposite, however it is a Berlin derby that couldn’t have took place 30 years in the past.
Requested how vital a recreation like that is, Nick, any other Berliner FC Dynamo supporter, says: “Extra for Viktoria than for us, I believe. Sooner than re-unification Dynamo had suits in opposition to Liverpool. However for Viktoria after all it’s an ideal factor to play in opposition to the 10-time champions of the GDR. Now not a large workforce anymore, however a large title.”
The tree-lined stadium at the banks of the Teltow canal has a conspicuous police presence in spite of a crowd of 529, with the away improve fenced in at one nook; whilst lots of the house lovers sit down within the stunning, curved art-deco primary stand.
“That is actual soccer,” says Daniel some of the Viktoria supporters. His oldsters fled East Berlin within the mid-80s, he grew up within the west a part of the divided town and was once 11 when the wall fell. He’s right here along with his good friend, a Viktoria fan, however Daniel likes to observe Dynamo every time he can. “We used to seek advice from my grandparents within the east,” he says, “and every time I pressure thru Mitte now I will be able to see myself as slightly boy – however like in a black and white movie. At the present time we now have color.” I ask if he’ll be celebrating the color at the anniversary. “I’m a part of the historical past. I don’t want a large birthday celebration. Incessantly, after I’m running someplace like Potsdamer Platz, I take into consideration that point, however in my very own means.”
On eight November 1989, 2,00zero supporters amassed on the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg to observe Berliner FC Dynamo play out a goalless draw at house to Eisenhüttenstadt. Andreas couldn’t be there. He was once at the different aspect of the town, the place he’d spent the primary few weeks napping in a sports activities corridor in Lichterfelde.
In the meantime Viktoria was once suffering on the foot of the Berlin Landesliga. In soccer phrases, the 2 golf equipment have been a global aside: Dynamo, the Stasi-sponsored membership, on the very best stage of East German soccer with 10 consecutive, albeit questionable, nationwide titles to its title; whilst FC Viktoria’s predecessors, in spite of a wealthy pre-war historical past, have been taking part in in West Germany’s regional newbie leagues. They have been additionally in several nations. Dynamo is an advanced membership nonetheless scuffling with with the spectres of its previous; its stadium sat proper up in opposition to what was once the interior wall within the east, and is only a quick stroll from the bridge at Bornholmer Strasse the place 24 hours later the primary few crossed, adopted by way of 1000’s extra.
“I got here again from a birthday celebration past due at evening,” recollects Nick, a journalist and historian, “and my father advised me that the wall was once damaged. I believed he supposed the only in our lawn.” At the beginning from Munich, Nick had simply grew to become 18 in November 1989. He has blended emotions in regards to the anniversary and gained’t be on the town to have a good time. “A large number of the beneficial properties of the some distance presently must do with 1989 and the occasions afterwards,” he says,” with de-industrialisation, the colonisation of the East, and hundreds of thousands of other folks shedding their jobs.”
However he recognizes the significance of soccer, in particular post-1989, “no longer just for Berliner FC Dynamo however for all East German golf equipment. After 1990 collectives have been destroyed. Many needed to go away their residences and connections have been misplaced, so soccer terraces have been where the place other folks may meet their outdated pals or colleagues once more. Going on your membership was once vital for continuity.”
Again at the pitch Viktoria have the simpler of the primary part, step up the drive after the ruin, hit the publish and feature a shot cleared off the road. The ambience is cheerful, earlier than the general whistle the police are tucking in to bratwurst, and possibly in homage to the spirit of eight November 1989, the competition ends goalless. It doesn’t lack bluster and mistake, together with a reserving for the Dynamo bench, has moments of aptitude within the drizzle, but it surely’s all sq. in Berlin. Christian Benbennek, the Dynamo instructor, is resolute at the East-West importance after the fit. “It was once a very long time in the past.”
In the meantime, Andreas displays at the fall of the wall, echoing what many of us right here have advised me. “I’m satisfied. I believe best certain. In my day-to-day existence I’ve extra risk, extra tune. However I want no reputable party.” There are lots of such celebrations this weekend however the modest fit below the Friday evening lighting fixtures isn’t considered one of them.
On nine November 1989 whilst 1000’s have been crossing from East to West, Andreas was once going the wrong way, again house to Prenzlauer Berg. “Using in a Trabi with my good friend, with out reputable papers,” his reminiscence of achieving East Berlin: “Everyone was once glad, but it surely was once very darkish!”