Gauliga Westfalen

Gauliga Westfalen

For the main article, see Gauliga
Gauliga Westfalen
Founded
1933
Disbanded
1945
Nation
Nazi Germany
States & Province
Province of Westphalia
Free State of Lippe
Gau (from 1934)
Westphalia-North
Westphalia-South
Number of Seasons
12
Replaced by
Oberliga West
Level on Pyramid
Level 1
Domestic Cup
Tschammerpokal
Last Champions 1943-44
FC Schalke 04

The Gauliga Westphalia was the highest football league in the Prussian province of Westphalia and the small Free State of Lippe from 1933 to 1945. Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, and the Gaue Westphalia-North and Westphalia-South replaced the Prussian province and the Free State.

Overview

The league was introduced in 1933, after the Nazi take over of power in Germany .

The Gauliga Westfalen was established with ten clubs, all from the Province of Westphalia.

The Gauliga replaced as such a number of separate leagues covering the areas of Westphalia, South Westphalia and Ruhr, the highest leagues in the region until then.

In its first season, the league had ten clubs, playing each other once at home and once away. The league winner qualified for the German championship while the bottom two teams were relegated. The league remained unchanged until 1940.

Through its existence, the league was dominated by what became the golden era of the FC Schalke 04, who won it in every of its eleven completed seasons. Schalke also took out the national championship in 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, alongside with being the losing finalist in 1938 and 1941. A cup win in 1937 and four lost finals in 1935, 1936, 1941 and 1942 were also added to this. Despite no other club from the region having any national success, this list means the Gauliga Westfalen was the single most successful league in Germany in this era.

In 1940-41, the league expanded to twelve clubs, with the bottom four teams relegated. The season after, it returned to its original set-up and remained so until 1944.

The imminent collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945 gravely affected all Gauligas and the leagues last season, 1944-45, was meant to be staged in three regional groups with altogether 20 teams. Play never really got under way and no club absolved more than three matches, most none before it had to be suspended.

Aftermath

With the end of the Nazi era, the Gauligas ceased to exist and the region of Westphalia found itself in the British occupation zone.

Top-level football did not restart straight away and it took until 1947 for a state-wide league in newly created North Rhine-Westphalia to kick-off, the Oberliga West.

Founding members of the league

The ten founding members and their placings in the 1932-33 season were:

Winners and runners-up of the Gauliga Westfalen

Season Winner Runner-Up
1933-34 FC Schalke 04 SV Höntrop
1934-35 FC Schalke 04 SV Höntrop
1935-36 FC Schalke 04 SV Germania Bochum
1936-37 FC Schalke 04 Westfalia Herne
1937-38 FC Schalke 04 Borussia Dortmund
1938-39 FC Schalke 04 VfL Bochum
1939-40 FC Schalke 04 Arminia Bielefeld
1940-41 FC Schalke 04 Gelsenguß Gelsenkirchen
1941-42 FC Schalke 04 Borussia Dortmund
1942-43 FC Schalke 04 VfL Altenbögge
1943-44 FC Schalke 04 VfL Altenbögge

Sources

References

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