In 1954, much of West Germany still lay in ruins. The economic miracle that was to transform the country had yet to happen. At the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, the West Germany team stayed at the Hotel Belvédère in Spiez, located in the idyllic setting of the south shore of Lake Thun. It was here that coach Sepp Herberger helped forge a team spirit among the 22 players that is credited with playing a large part in the Germans becoming the most unlikely champions in the history of the World Cup. “Das Wunder von Bern” – the Miracle of Berne – was helped in no small measure by “Der Geist von Spiez” – the Spirit of Spiez. The chair in our collection comes from the Hotel Belvédère from the time that the West Germans stayed there at the 1954 World Cup.
It is easy to underestimate the importance of West Germany’s victory at the 1954 World Cup. After all, three more triumphs have followed, each with its own special significance. But Franz Beckenbauer, captain of the 1974 World Cup winning team and coach of the 1990 world champions, is in no doubt as to what it meant.
“What was important, very important, was that this victory gave us recognition once again. Germany was destroyed after the War. Nobody took notice of the country, justifiably, because of everything that had happened. We were ostracized. We had tried to reconstruct Germany and then came this terrific victory at the World Cup and suddenly we were in on it again. Therefore, this victory at the 1954 World Cup has certainly been the most important victory in the history of German football.”