Station:  Sport
F: The 1959 German championship final, Kickers Offenbach against Eintracht Frankfurt. Back then, Berti Kraus scored the first goal for the Kickers. Born in Offenbach, Kraus played outside forward on the right wing for Kickers Offenbach as well as being on the German national team from 1955 to 1964.
The football club was founded in 1901, and its greatest successes were reaching the German vice-championship in 1950 and 1959, and winning the German Football Association Cup in 1969/70. Today, Kickers play at level four of the German league, in the Regionalliga South-West, and are Offenbach’s largest football club.
M: But now, we’re taking you back to the early days of Offenbach's sporting history.
F: In 1824, the painter Gerhard Wilhelm Bode founded the first gymnastics club. You’ll have seen some of his paintings in our art gallery.
M: In the early 20th century, athletes from the trade unions formed a free gymnastics movement with a strong left-wing bent. The Workers' Summer Olympics took place in Frankfurt in 1925. Then, in 1933, the Nazis banned workers' sports.
F: The story of the fencer Helene Mayer, who was a member of the Offenbach Fencing Club, is closely linked to National Socialism. She won several national championship titles as well as an Olympic gold medal. After Hitler came to power, the Nazis forced the Offenbach Fencing Club to exclude her, because she was half-Jewish. She emigrated to the United States, but was able to compete in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. She won a silver medal and gave a Hitler salute at the award ceremony.
M: You’ve probably noticed the large silver cup among the objects on display here. That’s the Offenbach City Eights Cup. Next to the cup itself, you see the lid, topped with an oarsman raising an arm in triumph. The cup was designed by the Offenbach sculptor Ernst Unger. During the Allied occupation in 1945, the boathouse was looted and the cup was flung away to lie in the mud – and simply left there.
F: Luckily for us, it was found – and the rowing club presented it to the museum as a permanent loan.
Fotos 1,2: © Stadt Offenbach
Foto 3: © Haus der Stadtgeschichte