Historisches Bild von Adi Preißler mit der Meisterschale

1949 – The first Championsships

The 24th of June 1956 stands out as one of the most significant dates in the club's history: Borussia Dortmund won the German Football Championship for the first time - and defended the title the following year with the same lineup. Also, a Dortmunder was part of the "Miracle of Bern."

In the early 1950s, BVB briefly fell behind Schalke 04 but returned as the West German champion in 1953 to compete in the "German" finals. Here, they missed out on reaching the final by 0.2381 goals; due to the divisional process, the goal difference of VfB Stuttgart (16:6) was better than that of BVB (17:7). After two seasons finishing fifth and fourth, Helmut Schneider led the club to its fifth West German Championship - and through Viktoria Berlin, VfB, and Hamburger SV into the final in Berlin. There, in front of 75,000 spectators, BVB defeated Karlsruher SC 4-2 after trailing 0-1, with goals from Alfred Niepieklo, Alfred Kelbassa, Adi Preißler, and Wolfgang Peters, becoming German champions for the first time.

The next day, the "heroes from Berlin" arrived at Dortmund Central Station in two special trains. When "Adi" Preißler stepped out of the carriage, there was no holding back. Alone, 80,000 fans were at the station, with a total of around 250,000 people lining the streets as the players were brought to Borsigplatz. In the evening, the captain promised that Viktoria would become at home within Dortmund's walls. A year later, it had indeed happened. Although the team failed in their first participation in the European Cup in the Round of 16 against Manchester United with 2-3 and 0-0 (and had also gained international recognition), nationally, they won the Oberliga West and - with the same lineup as the previous year - the national final against Hamburger SV with 4-1, thanks to two goals each from Kelbassa and Niepieklo.

Anecdotes from the decade

June 24, 1956

Prior to the 1956 Championship: Contract Extended

This afternoon, just before the final against Karlsruher SC, the BVB board led by Dr. Werner Wilms received an unexpected visit from a delegation of players. The reason: The board had ironically chosen this moment to inform Erich Schanko in writing that they were not inclined to extend his contract with BVB. However, Preißler and company held a different view - and made their convincing argument clear: "If Erich's contract isn't extended, then we won't play today!" Their stance was solid, and naturally, "Erich" received his contract!

June 25, 1956

Outsmarting the Board After the '56 Championship

After winning the German final in 1956, the Borussia players, jubilant but alert, returned to Dortmund by train. Naturally, the players' wives were also present. However, the BVB board didn't seem to consider this quite as natural. They decided to present the team to the fans in Dortmund without their better halves. But Max Michallek and his comrades caught wind of this plan and intervened. The board attempted a trick: the players were all at the front, their wives in the rear compartment. The latter was supposed to be quietly uncoupled before arrival (in Hamm) and then follow to Dortmund later. But this plan was also foiled. They quickly went to the ladies and thwarted the peculiar plan of the board.

November 21, 1956

Double Strike in the 50s - First European Cup Matches

Bobby Charlton, one of the most significant footballers of this century, made sure to be the highlight of the 16th Fan Meeting on the "Alten Markt" today. Before the Champions League match between Manchester United and BVB (1-0), he emphatically called on both BVB and ManU fans to make the match a fair festival of European football. Charlton experienced his first appearance in Dortmund - albeit only as a reserve - on November 21, 1956, at the "Rote Erde" with his club's return leg against BVB in the European Cup of Champions. BVB had previously narrowly lost in Manchester with a score of 2-3. Goalkeeper Heini Kwiatkowski, hailed as the hero of Manchester, went down in football history, making magnificent saves and frustrating Taylor and company. The return leg in Dortmund ended in a draw, 0-0. Bobby Charlton was one of the few players of his team who survived the terrible plane crash at Munich Airport on February 6, 1958, in which a total of 21 people died.

With a 4-2 victory over Karlsruher SC in mid-1956, BVB secured their first German Championship. Coach Helmut Schneider, who replaced the legendary "Bumbas" Schmidt a year earlier, had the right touch with his eleven: Kwiatkowski, Burgsmüller, Sandmann, Schlebrowski, Michallek, Bracht, Peters, Preißler, Kelbassa, Niepieklo, and Kapitulski, bringing the championship trophy "to the home of football" confidently. This secured the first-ever participation in the European Cup of Champions. A year later, BVB became German champions for the second time in an unchanged lineup, easily defeating HSV with young superstars Uwe Seeler and Klaus Stürmer 4-1.