Gauliga Niedersachsen

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Main article: Gauliga
Gauliga Niedersachsen
Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig
Gauliga Osthannover
Gauliga Weser-Ems
Map of Germany in 1933
Country Nazi Germany
Provinces
and States
Gau (from 1934)
  • Südhannover-Braunschweig
  • Ost-Hannover
  • Weser-Ems
Founded 1933
Folded 1945
Replaced by Oberliga Nord
Level on pyramid Level 1
Domestic cup(s) Tschammerpokal
Last champions

The Gauliga Niedersachsen was the highest football league in the Prussian Province of Hanover and the German states of Bremen, Brunswick, Schaumburg-Lippe and Oldenburg from 1933 to 1945. Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, and the Gaue Südhannover-Braunschweig, Ost-Hannover and Weser-Ems de facto replaced the Prussian province and the German states in the region of Lower Saxony (German:Niedersachsen), although de jure the old states continued to exist.

From 1942, the Gauliga Niedersachsen was split into two separate leagues, the Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig and the Gauliga Weser-Ems. In turn, the Gauliga Osthannover was separated from the Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig in 1943.

Overview[edit]

Gauliga Niedersachsen[edit]

The league was introduced by the Nazi Sports Office in 1933, after the Nazi takeover of power in Germany. It replaced the Oberliga Südhannover/Braunschweig and Oberliga Weser/Jade as the highest level of play of the regional football competitions.

The leagues success on national scale was moderate. The surprising victory of Hannover 96 in the 1938 championship over the all-dominating FC Schalke 04 with a 4-3 overtime win in the replay final remained the only triumph for the region.

In its first season, the league had ten clubs, playing each other once at home and once away. The league champion then qualified for the German championship. The bottom two teams were relegated. The season after, the league was upsized to eleven teams due to the integration of Viktoria Wilhelmsburg, the club coming across from the Gauliga Nordmark. The 1934-35 and 1935-36 seasons were therefore played with eleven teams and three relegation spots. From 1936, the league returned to ten clubs.

Due to the outbreak of the 2nd World War in 1939, the league was split into two regional groups of six clubs each. The two group champions then played a home-and-away final for the Gauliga championship. This modus remained for the 1940-41 season.

In its last season, 1941–42, the league remained divided into two regional groups but instead of a two team final, a championship-round of six teams was played. At the end of this season, the league was split into two separate Gauligas.

Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig[edit]

The territory of the new Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig was made up of the area of the Gau Southern Hanover-Brunswick and the Gau Eastern Hanover.

The league started with ten clubs in a single division in 1942. It remained at this strength for the 1943-44 season but lost one club, the Wehrmacht SV Celle, to the new Gauliga Osthannover.

Due to the arrival of the war on Germanys borders, the last season, 1944–45, was barely started. It was meant to operate in eight regional groups.

Gauliga Weser-Ems[edit]

The territory of the new Gauliga Weser-Ems was made up of the area of the Gau of the same name.

The league started out with ten clubs in a single division. The 1943-44 season was then played in three regional groups of uneven strength, with 23 clubs altogether and a three-team finals round.

The last season saw the same modus but 24 clubs. Play did not get under way very far, and most clubs only played two or three games before the league was dissolved.

Gauliga Osthannover[edit]

The league begun play as an off-shoot of the Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig in 1943 in the area of the Gau Eastern Hanover with eight teams in a single division. The league only played one complete season.

In its second season, it was expanded to twelve teams in two groups of six. However, no club absolved more than two games before the effects of the war lead to the cancellation of the league.

Aftermath[edit]

With the end of the Nazi era, the Gauligas ceased to exist and the northern part of Germany found itself in the British occupation zone. Only the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen was not part of this zone as it was awarded to the US forces as a port for their otherwise landlocked occupation zone in Southern Germany.

In the British zone and Bremen, top-level football did not resume straight away, unlike in Southern Germany, and only in 1947 was a new, highest league introduced, the Oberliga Nord, which covered the new states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein along with the recreated city-states of Hamburg and Bremen.

Founding members of the league[edit]

The ten founding members and their league positions in the Oberliga Südhannover/Braunschweig and Oberliga Weser/Jade in 1932-33 were:

Winners and runners-up of the Gauliga[edit]

Gauliga Niedersachsen[edit]

Season Winner Runner-Up
1933-34 Werder Bremen Arminia Hannover
1934-35 Hannover 96 Werder Bremen
1935-36 Werder Bremen Hannover 96
1936-37 Werder Bremen Arminia Hannover
1937-38 Hannover 96 VfL Osnabrück
1938-39 VfL Osnabrück Hannover 96
1939-40 VfL Osnabrück Hannover 96
1940-41 Hannover 96 VfL Osnabrück
1941-42 Werder Bremen LSV Wolfenbüttel

Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig[edit]

Season Winner Runner-Up
1942-43 Eintracht Braunschweig Wehrmacht SV Celle
1943-44 Eintracht Braunschweig VfB 04 Braunschweig

Gauliga Weser-Ems[edit]

Season Winner Runner-Up
1942-43 SpVgg Wilhelmshaven 05 Werder Bremen
1943-44 SpVgg Wilhelmshaven 05 ASV Blumenthal

Gauliga Osthannover[edit]

Season Winner Runner-Up
1943-44 Wehrmacht SV Celle Cuxhavener SV

Placings in the Gauliga 1933-44[edit]

Gauliga Niedersachsen[edit]

Club 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 3 1941 3 1942 4
SV Werder Bremen 1 2 1 1 3 4 2 2 1
Arminia Hannover 2 3 6 2 5 9 3 3 4
SV Algermissen 11 3 5 3 4 6 10
Hannover 96 4 1 2 3 1 2 1 1 5
Eintracht Braunschweig 5 4 4 6 4 3 2 2 3
Komet Bremen 6 7 10
Bremer SV 7 11 6
Hildesheim 06 8 8 9 5 6
VfB Peine 9 5 7 8 6 6
SC Göttingen 05 10 10 5 6
Borussia Harburg 1 2 6 7 5
SpVgg Hannover 1897 9
Viktoria Wilhelmsburg 1 10
Rasensport Harburg 8 9
VfL Osnabrück 11 2 1 1 1 6
FV Wilhelmsburg 09 2 8
ASV Blumenthal 7 7 4 5 6
Germania Wolfenbüttel 9
LV Linden 07 10 4 4 5
MSV Bückenburg 5
MSV Lüneburg 8
SpVgg Wilhelmshaven 05 3 3 4
SV Schinkel 04 5 4 4
Tura Gröpelingen 6
LSV Wolfenbüttel 2
TuS Osnabrück 97 5

Source: "Gauliga Niedersachsen". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 

  • 1 Moved from the Gauliga Nordmark to the Gauliga Niedersachsen in 1934.
  • 2 Moved from the Gauliga Niedersachsen to the Gauliga Nordmark in 1937.
  • 3 Played in two groups, North and South, with a championship play-off between the two group winners at the end.
  • 4 Played in two groups, North and South, with a six team championship play-off at the end. Placings in the play-off round in bold.

Gauliga Weser-Ems[edit]

Club 1943 1944
SpVgg Wilhelmshaven 05 1 1
SV Werder Bremen 2 4
TuS Osnabrück 97 3 2
Bremer SV 4 6
TuS Bremerhaven 93 5
Sportfreunde Bremen 6 8
SV Schinkel 04 7 3
VfL Osnabrück 8 1
ASV Blumenthal 9 1
VfB Oldenburg 10 6
Blau-Weiß Varel 2
LSV Ahlhorn 3
Braker SV 4
TuS Aurich 5
VfL Oldenburg 7
KMW Wilhelmshaven 8
Viktoria Oldenburg 9
FV Wolmertshausen 2
Tura Bremen 3
Komet Bremen 5
BV Grohn 7
Reichsbahn Osnabrück 4
VfR Osnabrück 5
Reichsbahn Cloppenburg 6

Gauliga Südhannover-Braunschweig[edit]

Club 1943 1944
Eintracht Braunschweig 1 1
WSV Celle 2
Arminia Hannover 3 4
Hildesheim 07 4 3
Hannover 96 5 5
LV Linden 07 6 10
LSV Wolfenbüttel 7 8
SpVgg Göttingen 8 7
Reichsbahn/Eintracht Hannover 9 9
SC Göttingen 05 10
VfB Braunschweig 2
SpVgg Hannover 1897 6

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Die deutschen Gauligen 1933-45 - Heft 1-3 (German) Tables of the Gauligas 1933-45, publisher: DSFS
  • Kicker Almanach, (German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine

External links[edit]