1. FC Union Berlin
Union Berlin was once the strongest football team in the East Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ands German reunification the club was near a bankruptcy. But in the 2018-19 season the former East Germany club was for the first time promoted to the Bundesliga.
Founded: 1966 (1906)
Stadion An der Alten Försterei (1920-)
FC Union Berlin was founded in 1966, but its pre-history goes all way back to 1906 when its forerunner FC Olympia Oberschöneweide was funded – that is one of many clubs that Union Berlin has its root in.
SG Oberschöneweide and other forerunners
FC Olympia Oberschöneweide become SG Oberschöneweide after the Second World War. In 1950, this forerunner of Union Berlin was split into two clubs since the players hadn’t been allowed to travel to West Germany to play in the German football championship after being the runners-up in Oberliga Berlin. The players responded by going to the West Germany anyway and set up a new club, which become Sport-Club Union 06 Berlin.
What remained from the old club would continue to play in regional competitions and would during the next decade change name several times before setting with 1. FC Union Berlin.
In the 1960s, Union Berlin was a member of the DDR-Oberliga, the highest league in the East German football.
In 1989 the wall between the east and west sides fall and Berlin was once again one city. In the time of the political changes, Union Berlin was in financial struggle and because of that not allowed to play in 2. Bundesliga despite winning the division below twice in the 1990s.
Finally, in 2001 after winning the third division once again, they were granted a place in 2. Bundesliga. The same year they reach their first final in the DFB-pokal, but lost to Schalke 04.
Almost twenty years later, 1. FC Union Berlin managed to get promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in its history.
By Oscar Anderson
1. FC Union Berlin timeline
1906 FC Olympia Oberschöneweide is established (a forerunner to Union Berlin).
1945 The club is rebranded as SG Oberschöneweide.
1966 The club is established.
2001 First season in 2. Bundesliga.
2018 First season in Bundesliga.