In two epically long finals of the 1922 German soccer championship, Hamburger SV prevailed against 1. FC Nürnberg. But why did HSV give up the title 100 years ago?
Actually they were German champions, the footballers of Hamburger SV – but somehow not. After this epic long final in two acts against the big favorites 1. FC Nürnberg, which was garnished with so many fouls and poisonous actions. After the second final attempt on August 6, 1922 was canceled by the referee when the score was 1:1 during the break in extra time because the “club” no longer had enough players on the pitch, HSV was declared champion.
An unprecedented drama began, in which chroniclers believed to recognize a farce of the German Football Association (DFB). The HSV finally had enough of the embarrassment, gave up the title – and got it the following year in defiance through sporting means.
HSV was a blatant outsider against Nuremberg
The Hamburg sports club was just three years old after the merger of HSV in 1888 with Germania and Falke. Although the club became North German champions, they were by no means unrivaled in the Hanseatic city – such as the defeats against Victoria (0:1), Ottensen 07 (3:4), Concordia (2:3) and St. Georg (1: 3) showed. When Titania Stettin 5-0 and Wacker Munich were defeated just as convincingly 4-0 in the DFB finals, the experts were amazed. Before the final against the champions of the two previous years from Franconia only a few wanted to put a damn on Hamburg.
Halvorsen and Harder – friends became enemies
The “club” with its national players was the clear favorite. Keeper Heinrich “Heiner” Stuhlfauth, whose name is still familiar to football enthusiasts today, shaped the Nuremberg era of success, as did Heinrich Träg, Hans Sutor and Hans Kalb. However, the latter missed the final games after breaking his tibia. The roles seemed clearly divided, although HSV had a new, strong midfielder, the Norwegian Asbjorn Halvorsen. And of course his goalscorer and only national player, Otto “Tull” Harder.
At that time both were best friends on and off the sports field – and two decades later they became bitter enemies: the Nazi Harder as a concentration camp commander, Halvorsen as a victim of National Socialism in the Neuengamme concentration camp. The harrowing story is documented in the HSV Museum.
Martens: HSV keeper with huge paws
Hans Martens was the towering keeper in the goal of the Hanseatic League. He had huge hands, his grandson Michael Winzer recalls in an interview with NDR: “But he was also very skilled with it, could do great card tricks. And he was a giant goalkeeper anyway.” 1.98 meters tall and said hands, like Frank Rost decades later in the HSV goal. In short: Martens was an imposing figure, a guarantee for entering the final and a fair sportsman. The grandfather made his peace with the “lost championship”, says Winzer. “Maybe also because of the happy ending a year later,” when HSV was finally able to celebrate the title with a 3-0 win over Union Oberschoeneweide from Berlin.
blow after blow
Belated satisfaction for what had its inglorious beginning in mid-June 1922 in the first final against Nuremberg. A game, bitterly contested, sometimes far beyond the limits of what is permitted. The rain stopped in time and 30,000 spectators in Berlin’s Grunewald Stadium saw the North German underdog take the lead through teenager Hans Rave (19th minute). In return, Träg equalizes, and after half an hour things seem to have settled down again with Luitpold Popps making it 2-1. It goes in quick succession, which Harder apparently takes too literally. According to tradition, he bumped into Anton Kugler from Nuremberg so hard that he lost several teeth.
After almost three hours: Cramps from the referee
Referee Peco Bauwens has his hands full. He warns the fighting cocks several times, appeals to fairness. Without much success. The game is becoming more and more dogged and harder – and seems to have been over for a long time until Hans Flohr forces the equalizer in the 86th minute.
Twice 15 minutes extra time until the next goal, that’s the rule. But the “golden goal” didn’t fall – not even in the following extra time over two times ten minutes.
Scene from the break in the 1922 championship final between HSV and 1. FC Nürnberg: the players have to change on the pitch.
Exhaustion on both sides because substitutions are not allowed. Bauwens is also at the end of his strength before he declares the game over after 189 minutes in the dark. After almost three hours of play, the referee, who later became DFB President (1950-1962), fell to the ground. “He groaned and said,” said HSVer Hans Krohn on NDR: “Man Krohn, I have a cramp, can’t walk anymore.”
Repeat on August 6th
So, like in 1904, shouldn’t there be a master? No, everyone agreed on that. On August 6th there will be a replay in Leipzig. A seven-week summer break – accompanied by numerous provocations – had passed and the atmosphere had heated up considerably. Almost 70,000 spectators crowded onto the pitch in the VfB stadium, far more than officially allowed. One would probably say witch’s cauldron today. The teams are unchanged except for one change each. Bauwens whistles again. And immediately takes action, sending Nuremberg striker Willy Böß to take a shower after an assault after just 18 minutes.
Despite being outnumbered, Nuremberg takes the lead through Träg (48th), Karl Schneider (69th) equalizes for the Hanseatic League, who suddenly even have two more men on the field. Kugler, who had lost a handful of teeth in a duel with Harder weeks earlier, injured his knee and, according to the rules, cannot be replaced.
Cancellation due to lack of players – HSV is champion?
With great effort, the Nurembergers keep the tie and once again get themselves into trouble when the goalscorer Träg blows the fuses. According to “Sport1”, referee Bauwens described the violent blow in the back of his opponent as follows: “The action was so mean that I was close to stopping the whole game.” In his report, the referee did not hide the fact that the sinner felt provoked (sluggish: “He said scoundrel to me”). When Popp finally suffers a circulatory collapse (sometimes also referred to as a “drama”), Bauwens breaks off the game because Nuremberg is only seven on the pitch – one too few. So HSV is the champion?
Barrelet: “HSV no longer makes any claims”
The final ended after a total of 304 inglorious minutes on the pitch. But it was far from over. Although the DFB game committee declared HSV German champions on August 19, 1922, the association’s board of directors overturned this decision a month later and thus upheld the protest of Nuremberg. According to “Morgenpost”, they had argued that the demolition was not in accordance with the rules because it took place during the break in extra time. There was also controversy about how many players had to be on the pitch.
As the highest authority, the DFB Bundestag had to decide in Jena in November. With 53:35 votes, the delegates made HSV champions and believed that they had averted the embarrassment of a season without a German soccer champion. Until former HSV President Henry Barrelet declared annoyed: “HSV no longer claims this year’s German football championship.” What remained was a hefty fine. The Hamburgers had to pay 10,000 marks to the apparently offended DFB.
1. Final HSV – Nuremberg (06/18/1922 in Berlin):
Gates: 1: 0 Hans Rave (19th minute), 1: 1 Heinrich Träg (20th), 1: 2 Luitpold Popp (30th), 2: 2 Hans Flohr (86th)
HSV: Hans Martens, Ali Beier, Walter Schmerbach, Hans Flohr, Hans Krohn, Walter Kolzen, Asbjørn Halvorsen, Karl Schneider, Hans Rave, Otto Harder, Ludwig Breuel
2. Final HSV – Nuremberg (08/06/1922 in Leipzig):
Gates: 0: 1 Heinrich Träg (48th minute), 1: 1 Karl Schneider (69th)
HSV: Hans Martens, Ali Beier, Rudi Agte, Hans Flohr, Hans Krohn, Walter Kolzen, Asbjørn Halvorsen, Karl Schneider, Hans Rave, Otto Harder, Ludwig Breuel
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sports club | 06.08.2022 | 14:00 clock