An ancient purpose, a risky wager, whisky smuggled beyond the Iron Curtain and a celebrity striker banished with the aid of mystery police from his countrywide team just earlier than its best moment. An impressive collection of occasions was set in movement after East Germany’s 1-zero victory over West Germany within the 1974 World Cup. It turned into the only football fit performed among the nations; two ideological opposites partitioned following the Second World War. After the fall of Nazi Germany, the Communist East became a satellite country of the Soviet Union, at the same time as the capitalist West was formed of occupation zones administered by using America, Britain and France. Until 1964, they competed inside the Olympics together – because of the United Team of Germany. But the East German-built Berlin Wall erected three years in advance, become a signal of diminishing political warm temperature, and while Erich Honecker took over leadership of East Germany’s most straightforward party in 1971, he introduced that unification with the West became not an objective. For years the East Germans rejected West German overtures to play soccer. It becomes seen as an excessive amount of danger – there was a miles additional hazard of defeat than in sports including swimming and weightlifting. But in a World Cup, there was no preference. “The officers have been hoping it wouldn’t be a shame,” says Hans-Jurgen Kreische, a softly-spoken former Dynamo Dresden and East Germany striker who performed within the landmark recreation at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion on 22 June 1974.
“The gamers failed to sense any stress though. On the opposite, we had been searching ahead to comparing ourselves to the West. “It changed into something we time and again strived for, however, the government constantly prevented.” In the West, Germany aspect has been captain Franz Beckenbauer and prolific striker Gerd Muller. They have been the host kingdom and the European champions. No surprise Hans Apel, then a month into his new process as the united states’ finance minister and a spectator at the institution level match, was in an assured temper. “I changed into quite positive we’d beat them at least 3-zero,” he said, talking earlier than his death in 2011. “I wasn’t excited; I wasn’t nervous. We have been excellent at football, and no person knew whatever approximately them.” The suit grew to become out quite in another way. Controlling a bouncing ball and slicing via the West Germany defence, Magdeburg striker Jurgen Sparwasser struck with 12 minutes left to comfy victory for East Germany. According to Kreische, the game becomes played in friendly circumstances. Nothing like a derby between enemy states. Afterwards, he and Apel might have a fateful come across. “Following the very last whistle, all of the players swapped shirts, although we did not do it at the pitch because formally it was forbidden,” Kreische says. “But we got on very well. We spoke the same language after all. It was a hard however fair warfare.” The win gave East Germany pinnacle spot within the organisation, which seemed to work in West Germany’s favour virtually. It supposed they prevented Brazil, Argentina and Netherlands inside the second institution level, touchdown amongst Poland, Sweden and Yugoslavia rather. The circus moved on. An exodus of enthusiasts, players and newshounds headed to their next venues. For Apel, it was a go back to the actual world of presidency within the West German capital Bonn, thru Dusseldorf. Kreische becomes at the level flight, en route to Hanover, where protecting champions Brazil lay in wait. The two guys sat after every other. “He requested me who I became,” Apel recalled. “‘I’m the Finance Minister of the Federal Republic,’ I said, and he laughed, so I showed him my identity card. He turned into astonished, maybe even a bit afraid. “I stated to him, one factor is sincerely clear, West Germany will never win the World Cup. “But he said to me ‘no, that is wrong, you’ll be the world champion’. “‘You’re simply speaking nonsense’, I stated. ‘Perhaps you’re too well mannered to inform me how bad this crew is. Let’s make a guess. Five bottles of whisky’.” Kreische did not have the way to shop for whisky or send it across the border so that they agreed that most effective Apel might need to pay up if he misplaced. The guess was set, and Kreische’s profession might take an irreversible turn. West Germany did cross on to win the World Cup, coming from a goal down to overcome an extraordinary Netherlands side 2-1 in the very last in Munich. East Germany had been eliminated from their intimidating second institution, losing to the Dutch and Brazil, but handling a 1-1 draw with Argentina. Once he becomes again in Bonn after the match resulted in July 1974, Apel asked his secretary to shop for him a few bottles of precise whisky. “I telephoned the ambassador of East Germany in Bonn, and I said to him ‘You will get five bottles of whisky, and you will receive delivery they please to Mr Kreische’.” This is how a diplomatic bag containing numerous complications-well worth of exceptional scotch crossed one of the maximum touchy and perilous borders inside the global. “I changed into shocked to get hold of it before everything due to the fact I didn’t sincerely know Apel in any respect,” says Kreische. “In Dresden, we couldn’t acquire West German TV, so we were not that properly knowledgeable. A lot of us, consisting of me, did not even recognise who he was. “And it became surely forbidden to have any contact with every person in West Germany. “But I turned into allowed to keep the bottles. I shared them with my buddies. It became straight whisky. Black and White.” And there, for some weeks, the problem rested. Until a letter reached Apel’s office. “I was given a typed letter – a peculiar letter,” Apel said. “Kreische later told me it become written by the name of the game service, and he needed to signal it.” That secret carrier was the infamous and pervasive Stasi, who infiltrated each part of East German society. They recruited informants, and informants to inform at the informants. It could have been not possible for Kreischer no longer to recollect the capability outcomes of taking the whisky. “I turned into annoying. I turned into definitely aware of the truth a person could word this affair, but I wasn’t precisely afraid,” he says. “I had any such excessive role at Dynamo Dresden that I could not surely consider being sacked or expelled from the expert sport.” He becomes incorrect. The whisky, as well as a letter that Apel sent with the gift, had a devastating impact on Kreische’s career. “In my letter there stood a sentence which created extra issues for him,” Apel said. “It read ‘I desire that we can meet once more soon’. This created the effect there could have been more than soccer talk and a simple bet.” In 1976, East Germany won the soccer gold medal on the Montreal Olympics. But Kreische turned into absent. He observed their historic exploits from Dresden as a substitute. “That yr Dynamo Dresden was the pinnacle team of the USA. We gained the league title and the cup, and I became the top scorer, with 24 dreams,” he says. “After I read my Stasi report in 2004, I now understand that it becomes due to this guess that I wasn’t taken. “The file said: ‘Sportsman Kreische isn’t always applicable to symbolise East Germany at the Olympic Games’.” Two years later, at the age of 30, Kreische retired. But no matter is lacking out on an Olympic gold medal, he is nonetheless very pleased with his contribution to East German soccer history, and his 50 caps for his us of a. “Why have to I mourn or regret something that passed off so long in the past? “Since then I met Apel, and we became honestly correct buddies. He regretted that everything had harmed me a lot. “That I may be a part of that 1974 World Cup was overwhelming. And that we should show we ought to play suitable soccer on the alternative side of Germany became awesome.”