Andreas implemented for papers to go away East Germany in 1986. After a three-year wait his request used to be granted in July 1989. “As a 24-year-old I used to be in a position for the west,” he says. Like everybody else he had little thought what would occur in simply 4 months time. I ask him the place within the west he sought after to head. “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, enjoying 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 this can be a Berlin derby that couldn’t have took place 30 years in the past.
Requested how important a recreation like that is, Nick, some other Berliner FC Dynamo supporter, says: “Extra for Viktoria than for us, I feel. Ahead of re-unification Dynamo had fits in opposition to Liverpool. However for Viktoria in fact it’s a perfect 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 regardless of a crowd of 529, with the away improve fenced in at one nook; whilst many of the house enthusiasts sit down within the stunning, curved art-deco major stand.
“That is actual soccer,” says Daniel a number of the Viktoria supporters. His folks fled East Berlin within the mid-80s, he grew up within the west a part of the divided town and used to be 11 when the wall fell. He’s right here together with his pal, a Viktoria fan, however Daniel likes to look at Dynamo each time he can. “We used to discuss with my grandparents within the east,” he says, “and each time I force via Mitte now I will see myself as a bit of boy – however like in a black and white movie. In this day and age we have now 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. Continuously, once I’m operating someplace like Potsdamer Platz, I take into consideration that point, however in my very own means.”
On eight November 1989, 2,00zero supporters collected on the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg to look at Berliner FC Dynamo play out a goalless draw at house to Eisenhüttenstadt. Andreas couldn’t be there. He used to be at the different facet of the town, the place he’d spent the primary few weeks sound asleep in a sports activities corridor in Lichterfelde.
In the meantime Viktoria used to be suffering on the foot of the Berlin Landesliga. In soccer phrases, the 2 golf equipment had 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, regardless of a wealthy pre-war historical past, had been enjoying in West Germany’s regional newbie leagues. They had been additionally in several international locations. Dynamo is an advanced membership nonetheless struggling with with the spectres of its previous; its stadium sat proper up in opposition to what used to be the internal wall within the east, and is only a brief stroll from the bridge at Bornholmer Strasse the place 24 hours later the primary few crossed, adopted via hundreds extra.
“I got here again from a birthday celebration overdue at evening,” recollects Nick, a journalist and historian, “and my father advised me that the wall used to be damaged. I believed he intended 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. “Numerous the positive aspects of the a long way at this time need to do with 1989 and the occasions afterwards,” he says,” with de-industrialisation, the colonisation of the East, and hundreds of thousands of other folks dropping 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 had been destroyed. Many needed to go away their apartments and connections had been misplaced, so soccer terraces had been where the place other folks may meet their previous pals or colleagues once more. Going for your membership used to be vital for continuity.”
Again at the pitch Viktoria have the simpler of the primary part, step up the drive after the smash, hit the submit and feature a shot cleared off the road. The ambience is cheerful, ahead of 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, nevertheless it’s all sq. in Berlin. Christian Benbennek, the Dynamo instructor, is resolute at the East-West importance after the fit. “It used to be 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 happy. I think best sure. In my day-to-day existence I’ve extra risk, extra tune. However I want no respectable birthday celebration.” There are lots of such celebrations this weekend however the modest fit below the Friday evening lighting fixtures isn’t certainly one of them.
On nine November 1989 whilst hundreds had been crossing from East to West, Andreas used to be going the wrong way, again house to Prenzlauer Berg. “Riding in a Trabi with my pal, with out respectable papers,” his reminiscence of achieving East Berlin: “Everyone used to be satisfied, nevertheless it used to be very darkish!”