Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oi, Tino!

I know there's one German that reads this, and this is for him. I was reading the other day about the massive psychological effect that winning the 1954 World Cup had on the West German people. I've even heard it said that it provided the boost that kick-started the economic revival that made West Germany the powerhouse that it was by the 1970s. I have no idea whether it is the German equivalent of "they think it's all over...", but this snippet of radio commentary from the 1954 World Cup Final is a real curio, with West German vs East German radio commmentary from Herbert Zimmerman and Wolfgang Hempel on the left and right channels respectively. I can't translate what they're saying, but one is noticeably more excited than the other!

I'm currently sorting through to find the remaining files I need for something of a TV-theme extravaganza, but here's something for the British readers - David Coleman losing his rag at a cameraman at the 1970 World Cup. Actually... he really loses it. I had no idea he could get so angry.


tiexano said...

I have yet to find a causal connexion between the "Economic Miracle" of the 50’s and the "Miracle of Bern". But there is no doubt that it is the single most important incident in (West)German sports history. West-Germany was a nation in the making at that time and it needed a founding myth. Most of all they needed something to identify with, to be good in, that was as unrelated as possible to industrialised mass-murder and burning continents to cinder. By winning that final, football became crucial for the German national identity, the "Bundestrainer" still has prestigious duties only second to the Bundespr√§sident.
And the final itself was of cause spectacular. The Hungarians were the best team of their time (You probably remember them, they were the first to beat you at home since the invasion of the Norman's) and they scored for 2:0 in the bloody 8th minute.
So it's quite understandable that Mr. Zimmermann is complete out of his mind there (It's probably still the most famous piece of radio in Germany)despite his eastern colleague attempts to keep calm, he couldn’t be so enthusiastic since it was the "class enemy" winning here. (Did you knew that there is a movie about all this flub-dub: "The Miracle of Bern" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0326429/. It’s not to bad actually)

Well the story of Herman Zimmermann takes a sad turn. He died in the sixties in a car crash and his last radio commentary was a now long forgotten game of the German team '66 somewhere near London.

twohundredpercent said...

I've seen the whole of the 1954 final, funnily enough. I knew someone that was a World Cup obsessive, and had bought the match on DVD. I think that, the last time I looked, it was available on Ebay. As I recall, one of the players was Fritz Walter, who has one of the stadia at the finals named after him.

As for that funny little stadium in London... yeah, I think I've heard of it. I think it might be ready at some point in the next ten years or so...

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