Max Michallek Statue am Max Michallek Platz

1939 – The first final

On May 8, 1945, Germany's Second World War came to an end with the surrender. Following this, BVB broke Schalke's dominance in the region and reached the German final for the first time on July 10, 1949. The next day, 250,000 people celebrated the tragic loser.

93 percent of the city center was destroyed, including the BVB office on Oesterholzstraße. Documents of historical value: destroyed. Even worse: Many of the club's founders and numerous players: deceased. By the end of the war, the club practically ceased to exist. In the first post-war season of 1945/46, the Westfalenliga was the highest level. The following year, BVB reached the British Zone Championship and the final against FC Schalke 04. The 3:2 victory meant a shift in power in the region.

As the first title holder of the newly created Oberliga West, Borussia Dortmund failed in the British Zone Championship in 1948 after a 3:2 win in the quarterfinals against Werder Bremen. In the next round, they drew 2:2 after extra time against FC St. Pauli, necessitating a replay, which the Hamburgers won 1:0 in Braunschweig. There were many unpleasant side issues regarding opponents, fixtures, and format.

Also in 1948/49, BVB dominated the Oberliga West, clinching the championship with an eight-point lead and reaching the final of the German Football Championship with victories over Berliner SV and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. 92,000 spectators flocked to the Stuttgart Neckarstadion for the biggest sports event since the end of the war. In sweltering heat, it was clear from the start that Borussia would have a tough time against VfR Mannheim. Although Herbert Sandmann squeezed Max Michallek's blocked shot over the line in the fifth minute, and he also scored the 2:1 in the 82nd minute, Mannheim forced extra time and prevailed 3:2 there.

Anecdotes from the decade

May 19, 1047

BVB is the Westphalia Champion with a 3-2 victory over Schalke in Herne.

Schalke 04, the ten-time champions of Westphalia, suffered a significant 2-3 defeat against Borussia Dortmund yesterday at Schloss Strünkede in Herne. In front of over 30,000 enthusiastic spectators, BVB clinched victory in the final for the Westphalian championship with goals from Michallek, Ruhmhofer, and Sandmann, securing a 3-2 win and breaking the long-standing dominance of the "Knappen" in Westphalia. Max Michallek equalized the Schalke lead of 1-0 scored by Hinz shortly after the break. But just a few minutes later, a free kick from Tibulski found the back of Kronsbein's net. Defender Heinrich Ruhmhofer again leveled the score, and Herbert Sandmann (17) scored the 3-2 winner just minutes before the end. Despite the continuous rain, the traveling Dortmund fans didn't hesitate to celebrate their Westphalian champions, Borussia Dortmund.

The first championship match between BVB and FC Schalke 04 took place on May 3, 1925. Schalke won - also in Herne - in a match for the district league championship of the Ruhrgau, securing a 4-2 victory. Best Borussian: Keeper Knipprath, who did what needed to be done.

With striking regularity, BVB faced sometimes heavy defeats in the following years, such as the 0-7 loss in 1936/37 at the "Rote Erde," or the 10-0 defeat in the 1940/41 season (Glückauf-Kampfbahn), where Kuzorra alone scored four goals and even the future BVB coach Hermann Eppenhoff didn't leave empty-handed. In 1938, the Borussians caught attention for the first time. They won - albeit in the final for the A-youth Westphalian championship in Münster - with a 4-2 victory. Best man on the pitch: Max Michallek, who contributed two goals and already hinted in this game that he could become one of the very best in black and yellow. It wasn't until November 14, 1943, that Borussia's "first team" celebrated a double point win against the "Knappen." The final score was 1-0 at the "Rote Erde" - naturally after a goal from August Lenz. In total, BVB played against the Gelsenkirchen team 16 times during its membership in the "Gauliga Westphalia." There was only one draw and one victory each.

July 4, 1948

Skandal: BVB excluded from 'German' games

Rejecting your dictatorial measures and not showing up in Hanover on Sunday. Stop. We consider ourselves bound by the contractual agreements made in Braunschweig." With these harsh words directed at the self-righteous chairman of the Zonal Committee, A. Weber, BVB reacted yesterday to unsportsmanlike unilateral actions by the association. After BVB became the first West German champion of the "Oberliga West" at the beginning of May 1948, they were looking forward to the Zonal Championship and the first "German" championship after the Second World War. Initially, BVB defeated Werder Bremen 3-2 after extra time in Hanover. But then A. Weber decided that BVB should play against St. Pauli instead of - as originally planned - against Braunschweig. Furthermore, he pushed through a change of date from the 9th to the 8th of May (a Saturday, a working day), which was only communicated to BVB on May 5th. Note: All BVB players were still employed and would have had to request leave from their employers. This was enough for the aforementioned telegram. And led to this association's reaction: "Borussia Dortmund defies the competition format set by the Zonal Committee and is excluded from participating in the German Championship. TSV Braunschweig is the third representative of Northwestern Germany. Proceedings against Borussia for indiscipline will be requested from the North Rhine-Westphalia Association.

June 6, 1949

Michallek's Odyssey to Berlin

With a big "Hallo," today at 6:30 p.m., the BVB team, who will face BSV 92 Berlin in a preliminary round match for the German Championship tomorrow, welcomed their player Max Michallek, covered in coal dust, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Michallek had overslept the train journey of his team in the early morning hours. When he arrived at Dortmund station, his only option was to travel to Berlin in a coal wagon. During the journey, "Spider" Michallek pitched in as a "helper stoker" and thus worked off his train journey "in kind." There was a tense moment to overcome at the zone border: Russian soldiers checked the train. When Max tried to explain with gestures who he was, the apparently sports-loving soldiers said, "You footballer Michailow. You may continue." The background: The Borussia Dortmund board had informed the border post several hours earlier upon BVB's arrival that another player - a certain Max Michallek - was expected and requested to allow him entry into the Soviet zone (BVB won the game against BSV 92 with a perfectly cleaned Max Michallek 5-0. With this game, the Berlin Olympic Stadium was handed back to German hands by the Allies).