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East Germany

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East Germany
Flag of East Germany.svg
Continent Europe
Existed until 1990
National teams Men's
Junior
National federation Deutscher Eislauf-Verband
Joined IIHF June 9, 1954
Left IIHF October 3, 1990
Top league DDR-Oberliga
Duration 1949-1990


East Germany, or the German Democratic Republic (GDR or, in German, DDR) was formed in the eastern part of present-day Germany in 1949. It consisted of the area that had been occupied by the Soviet army after World War II. In 1990 the country reunified with West Germany.

OverviewEdit

National TeamsEdit

Domestic TeamsEdit

See Category:Ice hockey teams in East Germany

ArenasEdit

See Category:Arenas in East Germany

CompetitionsEdit

Competition Founded Folded Notes
DDR-Oberliga 1949 1990 Top-level national competition
East German 1. Liga 1952 1965 Second-level national competition
Gruppenliga 1962 1970 Second-level national competition*
DDR-Bestenermittlung 1970 1990 Second-level amateur competition
East German 2. Liga 1955 1962 Third-level national competition
Bezirksliga 1951 1988 District competitions

(*Was third-level competition from 1962-1965.)

History of hockey in East GermanyEdit

The Sektion Eis- und Rollhockey, which later became a section of the Deutscher Eislauf-Verband, was admitted into the IIHF on June 9, 1954. The DELV was created on August 31, 1958, and incorporated the former hockey section into its association. After the reunification of Germany, the DELV was merged into the German Ice Hockey Federation.

The first national championship (later known as the DDR-Oberliga) was contested in 1949. Prior to the 1970-71 season, there were eight teams participating in the Oberliga, and multiple lower level leagues. All that changed, however, as the East German politicians decided that hockey was "no longer worth supporting" as the national team was not successful enough in international play.

The lower level leagues were shuttered, and the Oberliga was reduced to two teams, which it would have until it folded in 1990. Some teams kicked out of the Oberliga and the lower level leagues formed the DDR-Bestenermittlung, an unofficial second-tier competition. All artificial ice rinks were reserved for figure skating and speed skating.

The two teams that survived in the Oberliga were SG Dynamo Weißwasser and SC Dynamo Berlin. Weißwasser won the East German championship 25 times, but only eight times after the league was reduced in size. SC Dynamo Berlin was East German champions 15 times, including 12 times after the reduction of teams in the Oberliga.

The men's national team made its international debut in 1951, playing a friendly game against the Soviet Union, which they lost 23-2. They first appeared at the World Championships in 1956, winning the B Pool and earning a promotion to the Top Division for 1957. They played in the top division 12 times, but never finished better than fifth.

In 1966, East Germany won the bronze medal at the European Championship, the only medal they managed to win in international competition during their history. The country's only appearance at the Olympics was in Grenoble in 1968, where they finished in eighth (last) place. With the reunification of Germany in 1990, the team folded and was merged with the German National Team.

Joachim Ziesche was probably the best East German player ever. He played for SC Dynamo Berlin and holds the record of the second-highest number of goals in club history at 284. He played in 197 international matches for the national team. Ziesche later became the head coach of Dynamo Berlin for 18 years, winning the East German Championship 15 times. He also coached the national team from 1970-1976 and 1980-1990. Ziesche was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1999.

Some other top East German players include Dietmar Peters (who played a record 315 games with the national team), his brother Roland Peters, Dieter Frenzel, Ralf Hantschke, Harald Kuhnke, Manfred Buder, Rainer Patschinski, and Friedhelm Bogelsack.

The junior national team participated in the IIHF European Junior Championships in 1967 (unofficial), 1968, and 1990. In 1990, they won the C Pool by defeating Hungary, Great Britain, and Bulgaria. The team was promoted to Pool B for 1991, but the country ceased to exist by that time.


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