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Unified Team of Germany

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Title: Unified Team of Germany  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: East Germany men's national water polo team, Ingrid Krämer, Gustav-Adolf Schur, Hermann Stöcker, Unified Team at the Olympics
Collection: Germany at the Olympics, Unified Team of Germany
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Unified Team of Germany

Unified Team of Germany at the Olympic Games

"Olympic" Flag of Germany,
defaced with white Olympic rings,
used 1960, 1964 (and 1968 by separated teams)
IOC code   EUA
Olympic history
Summer Games
Winter Games
Other related appearances
Germany (all appearances)
East Germany (1968-1988)
Saar (1952)

The Unified Team of Germany (German: Gesamtdeutsche Mannschaft) competed in the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Winter and Summer Olympic Games as a united team of athletes from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany). In 1956 the team also included athletes from a third Olympic body, the Saarland Olympic Committee, which had sent a separate team in 1952, but in 1956 was in the process of joining the German National Olympic Committee. This process was completed in February 1957 after the admission of Saarland into the FRG.


As the GDR in 1949 had introduced its own national anthem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 melody to Schiller's Ode an die Freude ("Ode to Joy") was played for winning German athletes as a compromise. In 1959, the GDR also introduced an altered black-red-gold tricolour flag of Germany as the flag of East Germany. Thus, a compromise had to be made also for the flag of the unified sports team. It was agreed upon to superimpose the plain flag with additional white Olympic rings. This flag was used from 1960 to 1968.

At the Games of 1956, 1960, and 1964 the team was simply known as "Germany" and the usual country code of GER was used, except at Innsbruck in 1964, when the Austrian hosts used the German language "D" for Deutschland.[1] Yet, the IOC code EUA (from the official French-language IOC designation, Équipe Unifiée d'Allemagne) is currently applied retrospectively in the IOC medal database,[2] without further explanation given. Only in 1976 did the IOC start to assign standardized codes. Before that time, the local Organizing Committees of each Olympic Games had chosen codes, often in the local language, resulting in a multitude of codes.

In the 1968 Winter Olympics, East and West German athletes competed as separate teams while still using the compromise Olympic flag and Beethoven anthem. While today listed under the IOC codes of FRG and GDR, respectively, in 1968 they were asymmetrically called in French Allemagne (Germany) and Allemagne de l'Est (East Germany), and in Spanish Alemania and Alemania del Este. The codes for Germany (West) were ALL (in Grenoble) and ALE (in Mexico City), and ADE for East Germany.

The separation was completed at the 1972 Summer Olympics with the use of separate flags and anthems. Because of the boycotts of the 1980 and 1984 summer games, only in 1972, 1976, and 1988 did two different German teams with different symbols compete against each other at Summer Olympics (not counting the Saar team of 1952). The German Democratic Republic ceased to exist after 1989, with its states joining the Federal Republic of Germany in the process of German reunification in 1990.

See also


  1. ^ Mallon, Bill;  
  2. ^ "Olympic Medal Winners".  
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