Wednesday, October 27, 2010

True to expectations, DDR made no waves at first. Predictably, they won their first match – Australia was no opposition anyway.
The meeting of two debutantes: captains Wilson (Aistralia) and Bransch (DDR) shaking hands. The East Germans were remarkably unfashionable… even the Aussies were outfitted with trendy Adidas. But at the end fashion lost 0-2.
The second match was boring and unmemorable 1-1 tie against Chile.
Hoffmann scored and DDR led for awhile in front of 30 000 spectators. West German spectators… for very small and very carefully scrutinized group of East Germans was permitted to go to the faulty West and watch games of their own team. The number of fans at this game is questionable – here the source is a Communist newspaper from West Berlin. Other sources give lower numbers: Wikipedia sites 20 000. FIFA – less tha that.
At least theoretically, there was ideological motivation in this game, but the good Komsomol members were unable to take revenge on Pinochet. In any case, the ideological point here was eclipsed by clash with West Germany.
No doubt about motivation… Party oficials no doubt made ‘motivational’ speaches to the team. In football terms, DDR needed to win their last game to go ahead. There was no question that the team was going to play at there best – and they did precisely that.
Jurgen Sparwasser scores and Socialism put Capitalism to the ground. This was the finest moment of East German football… no calculations, no reservations, no concerns for the future… a pure ideological victory. True, it turned out DDR was going to meet a pack of wolves in the next round (Holland, Brazil, and Argentina), but who cares? The most important thing was already achieved…
And here is the killer of Capitalism, Jurgen Sparwasser, all smiles. Kind of modest, becoming to a true Communist, smiles… Well, hardly the players were rabid Communists and it is even amazing that none of them defected right after the final whistle: after beating West Germany, the entire team would have been welcomed by Bundesliga clubs and West German citizenship was authomatic by constitutional law. But – no one jumped ship. Ironically, only the killer boy Sparwasser defected to West Germany, but in the middle of the 1980s, well after he retired from football.
For the moment, DDR dropped a bomb and ended first. May be they had another bomb? Nobody thinks winners weak.