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Brandenburg football championship
Founded
1898
Disbanded
1933
Nation
German Empiremarker
Germanymarker
Region
Province of Brandenburg
Number of Seasons
36
Replaced by
Gauliga Berlin-Brandenburg
Level on Pyramid
Level 1
Domestic Cup
Berlin Cup
Last Champions 1932-33
Hertha BSC Berlin


The Brandenburg football championship (German: Brandenburgische Fussball Meisterschaft) was the highest association football competition in the Prussian Province of Brandenburg, including Berlinmarker, established in 1898. The competition was disbanded in 1933 with the rise of the Nazis to power.

Overview

German football was, from its beginnings, divided into regional associations, which carried out their own championship, which often pre-dated the national German championship. With the interception of the later in 1903, the former became qualifying tournaments for it but these regional championships still held a high value for the local clubs. These regional championships were:

All this regional championships were suspended with the rise of the Nazis to power in 1933. At the end of the Second World War, some resumed, now in league format. Others completely disappeared, like the Baltic championship, as the territories they were held in were not part of Germany any more. With the South West German football championship, a new regional competition also appeared in 1945. Ultimately, with the formation of the Fussball-Bundesliga, all this regional championships ceased altogether.

History

Background

The Prussian province of Brandenburg (red), within the Kingdom of Prussia (blue)
The Prussian province of Brandenburg was largely identical to what is now the federal state of Brandenburgmarker, except for the areas east of the Oder-Neisse line, which are now part of Polandmarker. Berlin was separated politically from it in 1881 and largely expanded through the Greater Berlin Actmarker of 1920. As football is concerned, the clubs from city of Berlin were part of, and as a matter of fact, the most dominating factor in the Brandenburg football championship. The outcome of the First World War and the conversion of Prussia to a Free Statemarker had little influence on the competition, unlike other regions of Germany, Brandenburg lost no territory.

Football association

In the late 1890s, a number of local football associations were formed in the Berlin and Brandenburg region, most of them short lived.

The Verband Deutscher Ballspielvereine, a Berlin-based association of German football clubs was formed on 11 September 1897. In May 1902, it renamed itself Verband Berliner Ballspielvereine to reflect its geographical alignment.

From 1903 to 1911, the Märkischer Fussballbund and its league, named after the Mittelmark, existed in parallel with the league of the Verband Berliner Ballspielvereine and both send their champions to the German football championship. In April 1911, the two associations merged to form the Verband Brandenburgischer Ballspielvereine.

In 1933, after the rise of the Nazis to power, the Verband Brandenburgischer Ballspielvereine was disbanded, like all other regional football associations in Germany.

Competition

1898 to 1911

The Brandenburg football championship was first played in 1898, when eight clubs competed in a league format for it. The number of games played by each team varied greatly but the top four clubs each played nine season games with the top three ending up on equal points. To determine the champion, a two leg decider was played between Britannia Berlin and BFC Preussen with the former winning both games and earning its first league title. In its second edition, only six clubs participated, all from the city of Berlin and this time each club played an equal amount of games. Because of the top two teams finishing on equal points, a final had to be played once more, this time BFC Preussen coming out the winner.

Expanded to nine clubs for 1900, the league champion won the Brandenburg title outright at this edition, BFC Preussen winning all of its 16 games. The following season, only seven clubs took part in the competition but for 1902 it was expanded to twelve teams in two divisions of six, with the two divisional winners playing out the Brandenburg champions. The finals were held in a two leg format but because each team won one game, a third match had to be held to decide the winner. For 1903, the league returned to a single division format, now with eight clubs. Additionally, the league received some local competition with the March football championship being introduced, organised by the rival Märkischer Fussballbund. Also, the German football championship was held for the first time, with the Brandenburg champion, Britannia Berlin, losing 1-3 against VfB Leipzig, who went on to win the title.

Unchanged in format and modus, the league winner was once more Britannia Berlin with the club reaching the final of the German championship, too. Because of a protest by the Karlsruher FV, who had lost 1-6 to Britannia in the first round in Berlin and rightfully claimed all games were supposed to be staged on neutral ground, the final in Kasselmarker was canceled hours before the game.

In 1905, the Union 92 Berlin took out the title in a competition that remained otherwise unchanged from the previous two seasons and then went on to become the first club from Berlin to win a German championship, beating Karlsruher FV in the final. The 1906 edition saw BFC Hertha 92, the later Hertha BSC Berlin, win the league and become one of three Berlin clubs in the German finals, alongside defending champions Union 92 and the March league winner Norden-Nordwest, without any of the three making it to the final.

In 1907, the league winners of the Verband Berliner Ballspielvereine and the Märkischer Fussballbund agreed on playing a one-off final for an overall Berlin championship, which BFC Viktoria 89 won. Viktoria then went on to reach the German final but lost to southern champions Freiburger FC. The following year saw almost a complete repeat but this time Viktoria won the German final, beating Stuttgarter Kickers 3-0.

The 1909 season saw an expansion of the league to nine clubs and a refusal of the Verband Berliner Ballspielvereine to stage a Berlin final for financial reasons; it did not want the Märkischer Fussballbund to profit financially from the games. Because of this, both league champions were allowed at the German finals but Viktoria lost 2-4 to Phönix Karlsruhe in the final game. In 1910, the two rival leagues continued their stand-off and the March champion, Tasmania 1900, actually reached the semi-finals of the national championship while BFC Preussen was knocked out in the first round.

The 1911 season was the last of the split, the situation remaining unchanged during the season and Viktoria taking out the Brandenburg and German title. At the end of it, the two associations merged and formed the Verband Brandenburgischer Ballspielvereine.

1911 to 1924

With only one football association in the region, made up of two leagues, the Brandenburg championship was staged in 1912 in two divisions of ten clubs each with a two-leg final between the league winners at the end. In the final years before the First World War the Brandenburg champions could not reach a German final again and from 1914 to 1920, the German championship was suspended in any case. On local level, the league returned to a single division of ten clubs in 1913 and kept this format until 1917.

In 1918 and 1919, the league was expanded to 18 clubs, an extraordinary number in German football in those days when most leagues were at a strength of ten to twelve teams. Brandenburg did not, unlike most other German regions, interrupt play during the war and continued its competition. The 1920 season was an oddity, only half completed when Union Oberschöneweide was declared the winner.

The 1921 edition saw a return to a more common format with two divisions of six clubs each, with a two-leg final at the end. Brandenburg champion Vorwärts Berlin reached the German final, losing 0-5 to 1. FC Nuremberg. The two division were expanded to eleven clubs in one and ten in the other for 1922 and, with Union Postdam, contained a club from outside of Greater Berlin for the first time. For 1923, both divisions operated on a strength of ten clubs, now renamed Oberliga Berlin-Brandenburg, and champions Union Oberschöneweide reached the national final, losing 0-3 to Hamburger SV. After an unchanged 1924 season, from 1925 onwards the league saw the rise of Hertha BSC Berlin as a dominating team in Brandenburg and Germany.

1925 to 1933

Hertha BSC was to win the league seven consecutive times from 1925 to 1931, the last four of those by beating Tennis Borussia Berlin in the final, laying the foundations to a still existing rivalry. While the club bowed out of the German finals in the semi-finals of 1925 against FSV Frankfurt, losing 0-1 in extra time, it also dominated German football in this era, to a lesser extend. Hertha reached the final of every German championship from 1926 to 1931, losing in 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929, to SpVgg Fürth, 1.FC Nuremberg, Hamburger SV and Fürth again.

From 1925, an expanded finals round also meant, that Brandenburg was allowed to send the championship finalist to the national title games as well. The Brandenburg championship was again split into two divisions of ten teams from 1926, with finals at the end, a format it maintained until 1933. From 1931, the Pommeranian champions, previously part of the Baltic football championship, took part in a four team final round that also included the Berlin Cup winner.

After four unsuccessful attempts, Hertha finally won a national title in 1930, beating Holstein Kielmarker 5-4 in the final. The season after, it repeated this achievement by beating TSV 1860 Munich 3-2.

The 1932 season saw the end of Hertha's seven-year run, the club came second in its division and missed out on taking part in the Brandenburg finals. This title was won by Tennis Borussia Berlin, for the first time after four unsuccessful attempts in series; but Eintracht Frankfurt stopped TB in the quarter finals of the national title games.

The last Brandenburg championship in 1933 was won by Hertha BSC once more, but the clubs golden age had gone and it made a first round exit to SV Hindenburg Allenstein at the national finals.

Aftermath

The Brandenburg championship was replaced with the Gauliga Berlin-Brandenburg by the Nazis in 1933, one of 16 new tier-one football leagues in the country. In the era that followed, the clubs from Brandenburg had little success and none ever reached a German championship final again until the introduction of the Fussball-Bundesliga in 1963, which did away with the finals games altogether.

A competition similar to the Brandenburg football championship never reformed. After the end of the Second World War, Germany remained divided until 1991 and the former clubs of this competition played in separate countries. Clubs from both parts of Berlin played in the same competition, the Oberliga Berlin until 1950, but it did not include clubs from the rest of Brandenburg. After the reunion, the clubs from what was East Germanymarker joined the united German football league system, but a competiton that only includes clubs from Brandenburg and Berlin was not recreated.

Brandenburg football champions

German champions in bold:>
Season Winner Runner-Up
1898 Britannia Berlin BFC Preussen
1899 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89
1900 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89
1901 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89
1902 BFC Viktoria 89 Britannia Berlin
1903 Britannia Berlin BFC Viktoria 89
1904 Britannia Berlin BFC Viktoria 89
1905 Union 92 Berlinmarker BFC Preussen
1906 Hertha BSC Berlin BFC Preussen
1907 BFC Viktoria 89 BFC 90 Alemannia 1
1908 BFC Viktoria 89 Norden-Nordwest Berlin 1
1909 BFC Viktoria 89 BFC Preussen
1910 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89
1911 BFC Viktoria 89 BFC Preussen
1912 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89
1913 BFC Viktoria 89 Berliner BC 03
1914 Berliner BC 03 Hertha BSC Berlin
1915 Hertha BSC Berlin Berliner BC 03
Season Winner Runner-Up
1916 BFC Viktoria 89 Hertha BSC Berlin
1917 Hertha BSC Berlin Union Oberschöneweide
1918 Hertha BSC Berlin BFC Berolina 1885
1919 BFC Viktoria 89 Norden-Nordwest Berlin
1920 Union Oberschöneweide SC Wacker 04
1921 Vorwärts Berlinmarker BFC Preussen
1922 Norden-Nordwest Berlin SC Charlottenburg
1923 Union Oberschöneweide Vorwärts Berlin
1924 BFC 90 Alemannia Norden-Nordwest Berlin
1925 Hertha BSC Berlin BFC 90 Alemannia
1926 Hertha BSC Berlin Norden-Nordwest Berlin
1927 Hertha BSC Berlin BSC Kickers 1900
1928 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin
1929 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin
1930 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin
1931 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin
1932 Tennis Borussia Berlin SC Minerva 93
1933 Hertha BSC Berlin BFC Viktoria 89
  • 1 Club from the rival Märkischer Fussballbund league.


March football championship

The championship of the Märkischer Fussballbund was held from 1903 to 1911, resulting in the following champions:
Season Winner
1903 Vorwärts Berlin
1904 Weissensee 1900
1905 BFC 90 Alemannia
1906 Norden-Nordwest Berlin
1907 BFC 90 Alemannia
1908 Norden-Nordwest Berlin
1909 Tasmania 1900 Berlin
1910 Tasmania 1900 Berlin
1911 Tasmania 1900 Berlin


Finals

The Brandenburg championship was not always decided by a final. In some seasons, a final was necessary because two clubs finished on equal points at the top of the table. In two seasons, a final was played against the winner of a rival competition. In most cases where a final was played, it was when the league was split into two divisions and the division winners played for the Brandenburg championship.
Year Champion Runner-Up Result Date Venue Attendance
1898 Britannia Berlin BFC Preussen 1-0 / 3-1
1898 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89 0-0 / 3-2 aet
1902 BFC Viktoria 89 Britannia Berlin 5-2 / 1-2 / 5-1
1907 BFC Viktoria 89 BFC 90 Alemannia 5-0
1908 BFC Viktoria 89 Norden-Nordwest Berlin 4-3
1912 BFC Preussen BFC Viktoria 89 2-1 / 2-1
1921 Vorwärts Berlin BFC Preussen 2-0 / 1-2
1922 Norden-Nordwest Berlin SC Charlottenburg 4-2 / 1-0 10 & 14 May 1922
1923 Union Oberschöneweide Vorwärts Berlin 3-1 / 1-1 1 & 22 April 1923
1924 BFC 90 Alemannia Norden-Nordwest Berlin 3-1 / 2-2 27 April & 4 May 1924
1925 Hertha BSC Berlin BFC 90 Alemannia 3-1 / 3-2 8 & 29 March 1925
1926 Hertha BSC Berlin Norden-Nordwest Berlin 7-0 / 2-1 2 & 8 May 1926
1927 Hertha BSC Berlin BSC Kickers 1900 4-1 / 6-2 10 & 24 April 1927
1928 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin 3-1 / 1-2 / 4-0 4 March & 18 March & 15 April 1928
1929 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin 1-0 / 0-1 / 5-2 7 April & 14 April & 26 May 1929
1930 Hertha BSC Berlin Tennis Borussia Berlin 3-1 / 2-0 27 April & 4 May 1930


Further reading

  • Stürmen für Deutschland: Die Geschichte des deutschen Fussballs von 1933, publisher: Campus Verlag


Sources



References


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