Old love, new rivals: Derby between Hertha BSC Berlin and Union Berlin

A close friendship between East and West to the real city rivals; Berlin is preparing for the special and laden derby between Hertha Berlin and 1. FC Union Berlin. Although the official meetings on the fingers of one hand to count, go to the links between ‘large’ and cult club Hertha Union far back. It makes Berlin derby unique in its kind.

A derby at the highest level in the German capital is comparable to a rare natural phenomenon. Blink your eyes and you have decades to wait for another chance. Since the start of the Bundesliga 56 years ago there were only five times before two clubs in the metropolis opposed. Hertha took in the distant past four times against Tennis Borussia Berlin, and earlier this year took the first match against Bundesliga debutant Union Berlin.

Where the matches against Tennis Borussia mid seventies derbies were between two clubs from the then West Berlin, volunteered with Union Berlin this year for the first time a club from the former East Berlin in the battle for the city hegemony. And precisely this historical division of the city makes the link between the two clubs so special.

Iron Curtain

The closing of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War meant that West Berlin was hermetically sealed from the rest of East Germany, which was under the control of the Soviet Union. Union Berlin, that five years after the start of construction of the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 in the popular district of Koepenick, quickly became a place where a counter sound could be heard. Something not remained unnoticed on the other side of town.

Partly because Hertha fans took advantage of the fact that they still had access to the eastern district by home matches of Union visit. Union fans were in turn bring European away matches of Hertha in Eastern Europe. One of the most striking examples of the UEFA Cup Hertha was at Dukla Prague in season 1978 / ’79, when thousands turned away fans from East Berlin.

The friendship between the clubs was also apparent after the fall of the Wall in November 1989. Two days after the historic day visited many East Berliners with free tickets to a home game with Hertha Wattenscheid. Almost three months later, Hertha and Union played a friendly match at the Olympic Stadium for more than 51,000 fans who like brothers sang songs about German reunification. After the game the players enjoyed a dinner together.

cultural differences

It would appear afterwards seen the peak of friendship. Besides the changed situation in the city and the merger of the leagues, the cultural differences between the clubs were to blame for the dilution of the tires. Hertha may once have been a folk club, but can not be called so for some time. Die Alte Dame – founded in 1892 – now has a lender and sees itself as a club of the city.

Union is and remains the preeminent club fans who have literally bled for their love. At the time the water once stood on the lips in 2004, invented the supporters who Eisernen action Bluten für Union. They donated blood and donated the proceeds to the club in order to get a license for the Regionalliga Nord. Four years later, spent more than 2,300 fans to help myself up their sleeves to participate in the renovation of the stadium, while the second phase, 4,000 members of the club shares bought.

Despite the financial problems and a sporty low in 2005, Union hit fifteen years ago back up the road. Three promotions in four years meant a return to the 2. Bundesliga, where they’d camped the next decade. On the second level found between 2010 and 2013 also the first four official derby between Union and Hertha place, the clubs both one victory booked.


Yet the only Bundesliga encounter ended in early November in a 1-0 home win for union. Sebastian Polter made a late penalty, the only goal of the match. The Dutch contribution was limited to Javairô Dilrosun Hertha, Sheraldo Becker (Union) and Karim Rekik (Hertha) watched from the sidelines.

They saw how the match had to be stopped temporarily due to fireworks thrown from the away end. Also some flags and shirts Union were burned by supporters Hertha, while some fans of Union sought retribution after the final whistle. The time of the close friendship between the two clubs seems gone forever. (FOX Sports)

Hertha BSC – Union Berlin tonight at 20.30 pm LIVE on FOX Sports 1 and 4.

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