‘German Bodies at Work’

Today’s lesson in soccer history dates back to 1978, and is known in German as the Disgrace of Cordoba (g).  Germany and Austria met in the early rounds of the World Cup in Argentina.  Germany, as reigning world champion, was the obvious favorite against Austria, which had gone 47 years without a victory against its neighbor.  To the horror of German football fans, the Austrians won 3-2, sending the German team packing.

Relive the fateful duel in this short videoclip (sorry, German only), in which two Argentinian sports announcers "of German heritage," who landed in that beautiful South American nation in 1945 seeking freedom and opportunity among friends with a similar kind of vibrant national feeling.  After reading the euphoniously Teutonic names of the players, one announcer remarks "truly, the ‘German’ team here has no opponent!"

[h/t Ralf]

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8 thoughts on “‘German Bodies at Work’

  1. “To the horror of German football fans, the Austrians won 3-2, sending the German team packing.”

    Not only packing, the German team had to fly back home with the Austrian players on the same airplane! That must have been an exciting flight!

    The current Austrian chancellor, Mr Gusenbauer, has said that in the run-up to the European Football Championship in Austria later this year, every Austrian will at least once watch the glorious images of Cordoba again. These images still instill a lot of national pride in Austrians, some even think that 30 years on, Austria can make it happen again (Austria will play Germany in the tournament).

  2. Should I bring up the old Billy Wilder quote?
    I guess I will.
    “The Austrians are very clever. They have managed to convince the world that Beethoven was Austrian, and that Hitler was German”

  3. Well, to spoil the joke, Hitler was actually German. He got officially rid of his Austrian nationality upon his own request in 1925, was stateless for seven years and in 1932 automatically adopted German nationality when he became civil servant in Braunschweig.

  4. Well, to spoil the joke

    No, you just didn’t get it. On a fundamental level. Of course Hitler was German. It’s quite astounding that you apparently think the fact that Adolf Hitler was German, which surely must be a frontrunner for “most obvious fact of the twentieth century,” somehow escaped Billy Wilder* and everyone else not familiar with that Brunswick fiddling. Yeah, the city is called Brunswick in English.

    Speaking of which, I’m not really sure Andrew got the joke either:

    After reading the euphoniously Teutonic names of the players, one announcer remarks “truly, the ‘German’ team here has no opponent!”

    It has nothing to do with how the names sound (“Abramczik”??). Those two haven’t heard, or refuse to acknowledge, that Austria and Germany are separate countries now.

    * I don’t know if that attribution is correct, but instinctively doubt it.

  5. “For full-blooded Germans see the new French ad “The New Citroen C5 – Unmistakeably German” which will hit British TV screens from April 2.”

    LOL! A nice compliment to German engineering.

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