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#1 uechtel

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 17:50

in some recent mail exchange with our fellow AdamF he sent me photocopies of the programmes of two events in post-war Berlin:

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As you can see the races were organized by the ADAC and run on a route through the Western Sectors: Potsdamer Chausse - Wannsee - Zehlendorf West.

Besides the usual motorcycle classes each of the events contained a short sports car race, 1500 cc and 2000 cc in 1948 with 11 entries altogether and 1100 cc, 1500 cc and 2000 cc with 20 entries in 1949. These were run over 5 laps resulting in a total distance of 31.5 km.

A have to admit, that when I received them I frist did not believe my eyes. This is not only due to the fact, that I have never read or heard anything of these events so far, but is caused by the very dates at which the races had been scheduled.

For all those, who are perhaps not quite so familiar with the political situation in Germany in those days, I think my surprise will get clearer if I tell you, that the Berlin Airlift (as Adam says is the English expression for the Berliner Blockade) started on 24th June 1948 and lasted until 12th May 1949!

Here is what my history book tells about the situation in the three besieged West Berlin Sectors:

"At the beginning of the blockade Berlin had supply with food and coal for 45 days...

...US Air Commander Clay: 'Sir, what did you say? Did you REALLY ask whether the US AIr Force is able to fly COAL into Berlin?' ...

...on Saturday, 26th, the first food supply destined for the Berlin population arrived at the Tempelhof airfield, 80 tons in total...

...From 9th July onward also the Autobahn leading from West Germany to Berlin were closed by the Russians, Berlin now. On July 17th also the channel leading to West Berlin could not be passed any more. Berlin was cut off completely...

...On the 60th day of the siege the supply had reached a dimension, which made it clear, that the danger of starvation was turned down, but rations had to remain at a very low level: 1600 calories per person and day, consisting of dull and deydrated food...

...all public transport had to stall at 6 pm, street lights were reduced to one quarter and households were supplied with gas and electricity for only two hours every day. 4600 companies had to be closed down due to lack of coal. 150kg wood per household were reserved for the upcoming winter...

...the daily supply (for a population of 2 Million) consisted of 19 tons salt, 43 tons dehydrated milk, 64 tons fat, 85 tons sugar, 109 tons meat, 125 tons corn, 144 tons dry vegetables, 180 tons dried potatoes, 646 tons flour. In addition to these 1400 tons 3000 tons coal had to be flown in every day..."

So with this background in mind it is nearly unbelievable for me, that there has been a race in Berlin AFTER the blockade had already started!!! One could really expect the race to be cancelled in the early days of July. But there are manual notices in the programme which indicate, that it really happened! For example Franz Bumke in a MG is given as the winner of the 1948 race (1500 cc class)! And the 1949 event is called SECOND Interzone-Race of Berlin, so there must have been a first one!

And also the 1949 race has some strange facts. For example it seems again unbelievable to me, that there were even entries from the EIsenach factory (director Zimmermann and chief designer Gusatv Apel) for a race in the Western Sectors and only less than one month after the end of the blockade!

According to the notes the 1100 cc class was won by Emil Vorster and the 2 litre race went to Roland Mall, both of course from the newly founded FRG.The rest of the entries was a mixture of drivers from the West and the East, and of course also quite a number of "Berliners", which had their own political status then.

Summing this up I really have no explanation for how these races could be held under these circumstances and what were the further backgrounds. And of course I also do not know anything further than the naked facts given above. So I wait for your comments and perhaps there are even some people around here, who can tell me a little bit more!

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#2 ray b

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 21:01

:smoking: :up: wow that is news thanks
wish I could add something to that but....
I am a later dated cold war kid :)

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 22:27

Absolutely incredible... I see why you are so surprised.

I guess you are hunting for newspaper references to either or both events?

And what does Hans have to say, or is it too small an event?

#4 Leif Snellman

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 12:03

Potsdamer Chausse - Wannsee - Zehlendorf West. That should be in the US sector.

Well, if the 1948 race WASN'T ever run, then why has someone added the fastest lap speed, 123.9 km/h, in ink?

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 14:33

Originally posted by Leif Snellman
Potsdamer Chausse - Wannsee - Zehlendorf West. That should be in the US sector.

Well, if the 1948 race WASN'T ever run, then why has someone added the fastest lap speed, 123.9 km/h, in ink?


Yep, those were in the US sector. I meant to check my copy of Floyd Clymer's book on German racing to see what he had to say about these events. I will try to remember to do so tonight.

#6 fines

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 19:37

I wonder why Reinald Schumann didn't mention those events! :confused: And I don't recall having read about them myself, although I do posess quite a large collection of 1948/9 magazines!! :double :confused: Will need to check again...


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#7 uechtel

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:49

I guess you are hunting for newspaper references to either or both events?



That´s exactly the reason why I posted this here. I don´t think you find much about that in other nwespapers. if so, then certainly the races would have been mentioned by people relying on the standard sources like "Das Auto" etc.

And you know, Berlin is not simply on the other side of the street, and my visits there are not so numerous, so I´d like to hear if somebody else has already worked himself into the subject before I might consider starting deeper resaearch into the subject.

So I am very excited, whether and what Don and fines will find something in their archives.

Potsdamer Chausse - Wannsee - Zehlendorf West. That should be in the US sector.



The title of the race "interzonal" seems to imply, that at least one sector border had to be passed...

#8 Holger Merten

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:18

Potsdamer Chausse - Wannsee - Zehlendorf West. That should be in the US sector.



Just an idea......Perhaps it was an event from the US military for the GI's and the people? A little bit like cinema, evrything under control....but: Just an idea

#9 uechtel

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 23:21

sorry, Holger, one way dead end road! A look at the programme cover reveals:

...organized by the Motor-Sport Club eV Berlin (ADAC)!

And by the way: Very interesting patronage indeed: Merle Potter, founder of the club of chimney-sweepers!

I think it had been rather a matter of "keep business as usual as possible in order to demonstrate optimism and to avoid the population to worry too much".

#10 Don Capps

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 01:18

Well, I have found a race a week earlier, 4 Juli 1948, at Garmisch. Nothing about an event in Berlin on 11 Juli -- lots of comments about the conversion to the new DM and how it put a serious dent in any ideas that many may have had about racing. When the RM was finally dropped, on 20 June 1948, everyone got exactly 40 DM. Plus, I did find some mind-boggling photos of how close the crowd at the Hockenheimring race got to the track -- one of cars spun (it looks like a Mono-Pol, no. '89' -- at any rate it is rear-engined -- a "Midget?")went to the side of the track, throwing dirt on spectators perhaps a meter or so away, and then back into the middle of the track being narrowly missed by a following car. Had the car gone into the crowd, it would have made Le Mans 1955 look like a minor prang.....

Again, no mention of an event in Berlin during 1949.

However, I did see some information on the "Midgets" which were raced during this period, using motocycle engines between 500cc and 750cc, the latter becming the norm it seems. All I could find were that they raced "everywhere" -- the Nurburg Ring, Hockenheim Ring, Solitude, "Rund um Schotten," and hillclimbs as well.

I also found some information on a wreath-laying at the Rosemeyer Memorial Stone in honor of not only Rosemeyer, but Ted Horn and Rex Mays!

Somewhere out there....

#11 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 07:43

According to the ADAC-Motorwelt Sport-Terminkalender 1949, two races were planned in Berlin, both for motorcycles and cars on May 15 and on July 17, 1949.

According to a snippet found in the ADAC-Motorwelt No.7, p23, (July issue), the first Berlin Street Race took place on the south loop of the Avus for licensed drivers from the Western Zones of Berlin and West Germany only, open for motorcycle classes and 2-liter cars, won by Mall from Donaueschingen.

I would recommend to collect all available dates and then check the Berlin newspapers of that time, if I remember them correctly:
* Der Tagesspiegel
* Der Telegraf
* Der Kurier

I could not find anything for 1948.

In 1949 there was a Deutsche Strassenmeisterschaft for sports cars, consisting of three events
May 8 – Hockenheim
June 12 – Schottenring
Aug. 7 – Nürburgring

Additionally there was a Deutsche Bergmeisterschaft for sports cars 1949
July 31 – Schauinsland (Freiburg)
Aug 21 – Obersalzberg (Berchtesgaden) (I cannot verify that this event took place)

#12 uechtel

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 18:40

Don,

it looks like a Mono-Pol, no. '89' -- at any rate it is rear-engined -- a "Midget?



indeed the "Kleinstrennwagen" (race cars up to 750 cc) had numbers in that range, but sorry, this is one of a number of races of which I don´t have a programme.

and Hans,

here´s my list of the 1948 and 1949 races:

1948
9.5. Hockenheim (CR) FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
30.5. Köln (CR) FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
11.7. Karlsruhe FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
11.7. Berlin S2, S1.5
8.8. Aachen FL+F2, S1.1
15.8. Schotten (CR) FL+F2+KR, S2, S1.5, S1.1
22.8. Braunschweig S1.1, KR
5.9. Eggberg (CR) FL, F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
12.9. Nürnberg S2, S1.5, S1.1
19.9. Grenzlandring FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR

1949
3.4. Hannover S1.1
8.5. Hockenheim (CR) Fl+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
22.5. Nürburgring I S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
29.5. Berlin S2, S1.5, S1.1
5.6. München FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1
12.6. Schotten (CR) FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
26.6. Tübingen FL+F2, S2
? Dieburg KR
31.7. Schauinsland FL, F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
31.7. Peine S1.1
7.8. Nürburgring (CR) F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
15.8. Ingolstadt S1.1
21.8. Kellersee? KR
28.8. Karlsruhe F2, S1.5
28.8. Leverkusen KR
4.9. Dessau (DDR) FL+F2+KR, S2, S1.5, S1.1
4.9. Hamburg S1.1, KR
11.9. Grenzlandring F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
18.9. Solitude FL+F2, S2
25.9. Nürnberg F2+S2
25.9. Sachsenring (DDR) F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR
2.10. Köln FL+F2, S2, S1.5, S1.1, KR

so quite busy seasons then. As I stated, everything is more or less well documented besides those two Berlin races.

#13 uechtel

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 18:43

and I forgot to explain:

(CR) = championship run
FL = Formule Libre
F2 = Formula 2
S2 = Sports cars 2 litre
S1.5 = Sports cars 1.5 litre
S1.1 = Sports cars 1.1 litre
KR = Kleinstrennwagen 0.75 litre

Eggberg and Schauinsland were hillclimbs

#14 jarama

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 22:05

Originally posted by uechtel
and I forgot to explain:

KR = Kleinstrennwagen 0.75 litre

:confused: :confused: :confused:

#15 Holger Merten

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 22:08

Originally posted by jarama
:confused: :confused: :confused:


indeed the "Kleinstrennwagen" (race cars up to 750 cc)



#16 jarama

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 22:15

Holger,

thankyou. :kiss:

Carles.

#17 Holger Merten

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 22:29

Originally posted by jarama
Holger,

thankyou. :kiss:

Carles.


the same to mee carles, looking in thread, missunderstand, and :confused:

So it was easy to help here. Good night :wave:

#18 uechtel

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 22:50

I have found it!!!

At least a report about the 1949 race, from "Der Motorsport + Motorradwelt", July 1949 (newly acquired...):

"The great day of the 'little' Avus"

Here a brief summary:

Race organized by MSC Berlin (ADAC), 50,000 spectators, run not on the Avus, but on a part of the Berlin-Potsdam Chaussee between Zehlendorf-West and Wannsee. Track consists of two slightly curved straights and two hairpins at each end. Track length 6.3 km.

The event lasted seven hours, mainly motorbike races.

Because of the poor entry all three sports car classes were run in one race over the 50.4 km distance (5 laps). Fastest was Roland Mall, winner of the 23 litre class, in his Spitzmüller-BMW. The most interesting race was between Vorster (winner of 1100 cc class) in his AFM with Lorenz (fastest in 1500 cc class) with his Bugatti. Lorenz followed Vorster all during the race but was not able to pass.

Results:

1100cc:
1. Vorster (Rheydt) AFM-Eigenbau; 126,3 km/h
2. Brudes (Berlin) VW-Eigenbau
1500cc:
1. Lorenz (Berlin) Bugatti 124,2 km/h
2000 cc:
1. Mall (Donaueschingen) Spitzmüller-BMW 129,7 km/h

Even a picture is there, showing three 1100 cc cars (EVerding in his pontoon-Special built by Cappenberg in front of Kuhnke / VW-EIgenbau and a third unidentified car). But no mention of any East Germans, while the guests from the West were explicitly welcomed, so I think, the Eastern entries did not materialize.

#19 uechtel

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 22:12

In another article in this journal there is confirmation, that the 1948 Berlin event had indeed been run. The same track had been used as in 1949.

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#20 O Volante

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 10:13

A little more about the political circumstances, but not the racing and results, at least about the 1948 race can be gained from the autobiography of Pitt Seeger. He was well known journalist in the post-war years in Berlin, and somehow got involved in motorsport organisation - I glanced through that book some years ago, but have forgotten the details. In any case, the importance of the event in political terms (East-West confrontation!) was definitely much bigger than its impact on national racing!

#21 uechtel

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 17:02

Yes, I think a VERY political dimension of that race. Perhaps the only reason why they carried it out.

Pity, that you do not remember the details any more. Anybody else here, who has read Seeger´s biography?

#22 Pete Stowe

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 19:52

Originally posted by uechtel

1949
31.7. Peine S1.1

Yesterday I was talking to someone who recalled going to Germany when he was a boy, around 1949-50, and being taken by his father to a race meeting at Peine. He recalled a number of motor-cycle races and one race for cars, but had never come across any reports of this meeting. I thought a search of TNF might turn something up, & it did :clap: . Was this the only meeting at Peine, or was there one in 1950 as well? Can someone provide a brief description of the car race & the circuit, or any results?

#23 uechtel

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 21:28

The full name of the race was "Um die Silberne Eule von Peine" (race for the Silver Owl of Peine - no spelling error!).

The first race was held in 1924, but I think, most events were for motorcycles only, so I do not have more details.

In 1949 the event included a race for the 1100 cc sports car class. I have a full report of that event in "Der Motorsport + Motorradwelt", but it is written in such a weird style, that it is hard for me to make a proper translation here! But I can give you the facts for the car race:

Result:
1. Richard Trenkel (Bad Harzburg) - Volkswagen (Eigenbau) 38:23,1 = 82,85 km/h
2. Scholz (Lebenstedt) - VW Spezial 38:37,8 = 82,3 km/h
3. Hinz (Braunschweig) - VW Spezial 39:41,6 = 80,12 km/h
also participated:
Stadermann (Bad Harzburg) - Fiat
Schorr (Burgdorf) - Eigenbau (in the lead for a number of laps, but stalled engine after a spin)

race distance: 20 laps = 53 km

If it is helpful for you I can scan the whole article.

#24 Pete Stowe

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 19:59

:up: Thanks uechtel. I'll pass this on, and let you know if he'd like to see the whole article.