Fußball Club Erzgebirge Aue e.V., commonly known as simply FC Erzgebirge Aue or Erzgebirge Aue, is a German football club based in Aue, Saxony. The former East German side was a founder member of the 3. Liga in 2008–09, after being relegated from the 2. Bundesliga in 2007–08. The city of Aue has a population of about 18,000, making it one of the smallest cities to ever host a club playing at the second highest level of German football. However, the team attracts supporters from a larger urban area that includes Chemnitz and Zwickau, whose own football sides are among Aue's traditional rivals.
The club was founded as SG Aue in 1945, and on 1 November 1948 became BSG Pneumatik Aue under the sponsorship of the local construction tool works. Changes in sponsorship led to a change in name to Zentra Wismut Aue in 1949 and then simply to SC Wismut Aue in 1951.
Historical logo of Wismut Aue
The club performed well, advancing through third and second tier play to the DDR-Oberliga in 1951. BSG finished as national vice-champions in 1953 losing in a final to Dynamo Dresden by a score of 2–3.
In 1954 the East German government decided that the nearby city of Chemnitz—recently renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt—deserved a quality team and so, while the team was never relocated, it was renamed SC Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt. It was during this time that the club became dominant in East German football. It captured the 1955 East German Cup and followed this up with four national titles in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1959. It also played for the 1959 East German Cup, but lost 2–3 in a rematch versus Dynamo Berlin after the clubs had drawn 0–0 in the first game. Those successes led to Aue's participation in the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1958, 1959 and 1961.
In 1963, Karl-Marx-Stadt got its own team and Aue's squad recovered its identity as BSG Wismut Aue. The club continued to enjoy modest success by staying up in the top-tier DDR-Oberliga, and, although it did not win another championship, it holds the record for the most games played by any team in that league. Aue sits 4th on the all-time DDR-Oberliga list and over the course of thirty-eight years played more games (1019 matches) than any other East German side. Just behind them, 6th place FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt played 1001 matches.
Aue also played in the UEFA Cup tournament in 1985 and 1987, going out in the first round against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in their first appearance and in the second round against Albanian side KS Flamurtari Vlorë in their second. After German reunification in 1990, the club was renamed FC Wismut Aue before taking on its current name, FC Erzgebirge Aue in 1993. The name "Erzgebirge", Ore Mountains in English, recognizes that the club's home is located in the western part of these mountains. Aue was relegated to the DDR-Liga Staffel B in the 1989–90 season, so it was admitted to the NOFV-Oberliga Süd, which was the fourth tier of the German League between 1991–2008, in the 1991–92 season.
In the combined football leagues of the newly united Germany, Aue began play in the NOFV-Oberliga Süd (IV). With the establishment of the Regionalliga Nordost (III) in 1994, the club qualified for the new league. The club was moved to the Regionalliga Nord in 2000, and after a surprising league title there in 2003, it advanced to the 2. Bundesliga where it delivered mid-table performances in its first three seasons, but suffered relegation back to the third tier in 2008.
Aue became part of the new 3. Liga in the 2008 season. It finished runner-up in the league in its second season there, earning promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga. After a fifth-place finish in its first season back, the club has struggled against relegation, finishing in the lower third of the table each season since.
Aue made its first appearance in the DFB-Pokal, the German Cup, in 1992 and since 2001 has been a regular participant there. They have only managed to make it into the second round on two occasions.
The second team side of Wismut Aue played in the DDR-Liga (II) through the first half of the 1970s and had a single season turn there in 1985–86. They also made more than a half dozen appearances in the early rounds of FDGB Pokal (East German Cup) play between 1968 and 1991.
Since 2008 the club's reserve team, now the FC Erzgebirge Aue II, played in the tier five NOFV-Oberliga Süd with a fifth-place finish in 2014 as ist best result. At the end of the 2014–15 season the team was withdrawn from competitive football despite finishing eight in the league.
The team also made a losing appearance in the 1991 and 2007 Saxony Cup final.