Farewell to a GDR ice hockey legend: memories of Frank Braun

Farewell to a GDR ice hockey legend: memories of Frank Braun


Krimmitschu. Frank Braun did not make it into the documentary “100 Years of Ice Hockey in Crimitschau”. Puck Shikari Katha died a few days ago at the age of 72 in Waveser. “We wanted to shoot with him, but unfortunately it’s too late now,” says the film’s co-writer Frank Hibschman and the old author of Ice Pirates. The 65-year-old says, “I was lucky to be able to watch his game as a fan and I knew him very well.” He was a pleasant, calm-tempered person, but also had a sense of humor and was always ready with jokes. On the ice he was like a wall almost invaded by all – a dangerous defender with a hard shot from the blue line, in his day he was considered one of the best players in the world. Frank Braun made 270 international matches. One of the best four of the GDR rankings. Any player from CrimeSmachou or Waveser, where he was forced to relocate in 1970, completed more missions in National Jersey. But more on that later.

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The excitement was too big then


Frank Braun, who was born on September 9, 1948, comes from the Crimsitchau district of Frankenhassen, an ice hockey stronghold largely shaped by Gerhard Keeling, once a national coach of the GDR and fleeing west in 1957 Later, he was also a national coach. Son Udo Keeling then became a German NHL player. But back to Frank Braun. The kid hiked a hundred meters from the village pond, ice skates, clubs and puck was definitely a case. At the age of six he was discovered by trainer Alfred Unterdaufel and played among the offspring of SC Bismuth Karl-Marx-Stadt (SG Frankenhausen was handed over to present-day Chemnitz). He moved back to his hometown in 1959, as there was now the newly established Army Sports Association (ASG) CrimeMitschu, which became the Army Sports Club (ASK) CrimeSmachou a year later. An artificial ice stadium opened in 1964.

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Also the best position for Frank Braun, who proved to be a formidable talent and made his debut in the ASK Men’s League in 1966 at the age of 1766. His first international match against Poland took place on 16 December 1967. The GDR-Oberliga consisted of eight teams from Berlin, Waveser, Rostock, Dresden, Karl-Mard-Staedt, Erfurt, Halle and Krimmitschau. “The excitement was huge at the time,” says Klaus Hubsman, who also recalls a special international match at the Krimmitschau: “At minus 14 degrees against Canada in 1966, at the age of eleven I was among over 6000 spectators The GDR won a sensational 3–1 win, the only win against Canada.


Offer with white water


But the shock followed in 1970. The GDR leadership reformed the sports system, and ice hockey was also removed from funding. Speed ​​skating was far more medal-rich. Of the eight league teams, only Dynamo Berlin and Dynamo Waveser remained. Erich Mielke was an ice hockey fan and knew that there was to be a championship so that the national team could start at the world championships. Other clubs were simply dissolved. One day an official delegation stood in front of the stadium in Krimmitschau and announced its immediate termination. Players had to clean their lockers. The end and the end.


The best actors were offered to continue in Waveser. Frank Braun, who by then had played 43 international matches and 14 World Cups under his belt, moved to Lusatia with his family. There he won eight GDR Championship titles and matured into the international category. When he finished his competitive playing career in 1983, he could make his five A and ten B World Championships. Only Dittmar (315) and Roland Peters (279) and Dieter Frenzel (296) made more than 270 of their international matches.

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“It was an unforgettable experience”


Frank Braun remained true to his game, serving as an ice cream master at Waveser and has since played for Bad Muskau in the so-called Best Determination of Company Sports Clubs. He also played for his home club twice in these hobby competitions – the BSG CrimeMitschu unit, which was removed from the pigeon in 1970 after ASK was eliminated.

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After the reunion, in May 1990, ETC CrimeMitschu was established and allowed to compete in the Bavarian League. With returning Frank Braun, who played on the team with his son Marco in the 1991/92 season and celebrated a historic breakthrough: ETC was the first and only non-Bavarian team to become Bayern champions. A goal from Frank Braun also helped to hold on, after 5: 6 in the final first leg at the EHC Ha, furt. Krimsitchau won in 7: 4, with the decision being made only in the penalty shoot-out at the sold out stadium. “It was an unforgettable experience, we partnered with the players in the dressing room until late at night,” says Frank Hubsman. After being promoted, Frank Braun played in the regional league for another year and finally stepped down in 1993. “


Frank Hubschmann was the stadium announcer at CrimeMitschu from 1998 to 2011, during which time he was allowed to announce three international matches and the U18 World Cup. He is proud of her, as well as acquaintance with Frank Braun. It has not yet been determined when the almost finished film, initially described, will be shown. The 100th anniversary of 2020 had to be postponed due to the epidemic. One thing is clear: Frank Braun will play a part in it, even if the interview with him is no longer done.

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