I´m not a football fan but I must admit, that I had a lot of fun following the European football championship so far. Mostly we watched it at home with friends. Of course siding with the German team. I don`t really care if they win the whole thing or not, but it seems fitting to post some more football related records from Germany this week.
This one is sort of a historical document from 1988 uniting two Berlin teams “Hertha BSC” from the West and “1. FC Union” from the East on one record one year before re-unification.
The title song “Freunde hinter Stacheldraht” ( Friends behind barbed wire ) is sung ( if you want to call it that ) by Peter “Pepe” Mager, owner of a “Hertha” fan-shop. In the introduction of the song Pepe says in a typical Berlin, very matter-of-fact style: “Ich widme diese Platte allen Freunden und Anhängern von Hertha BSC und des 1. FC Union” ( I`m dedicating this record to all the friends and supporters of Hertha BSC and the 1. FC Union ).
I`m pretty sure this record is a bootleg because the flip-side was originally featured on a East-German EP published by the state-owned label Amiga in 1985. There is no name credited to the song and to top it off the title is wrong. “Stimmung in der alten Försterei” was written by Harry Jeske and sung by Achim Mentzel and members of the “Union” team doing the chorus . Achim Mentzel is a well known East-German Pop singer, comedian and TV-host who is still working today, though still mainly for a East-German audience. A interesting side note is that Mentzel started his career in the legendary East-Berlin Beat band “Diana-Show-Quartett” that got banned in the Beat-prohibition of 1966. So Achim used to be a rocker and it still showed in this song twenty years later. Typical East-German 70s or 80s Rock similar to the “Puhdys” and “City”.
Pepe published this record one year before the Berlin wall came down in 1989. In 1988 that was a bold statement for German unity with real foresight. Nobody knew it was going to happen so fast. When the record came out nobody took it seriously and again one year later it`s message had become meaningless. Pepe didn`t own the rights to the song and most East-German artists were prohibited to release their work in the capitalist West , but he must have thought: “So what? Sue me”. At that time the wall, that had caused a lot of people grief, made prosecution of these petty crimes pretty much impossible.
Thanks to Auge, main man behind the “Renate” Comics-Library in Berlin-Mitte, for giving this to me!