German Football League
The (shortened:GDR, German:Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) existed from the creation of the DDR-Oberliga in 1949 until shortly after German reunification in 1990.
From 1949 until 1991 East Germany had its own football league system. It had its own nationwide league called which existed throughout the whole GDR history. Since 1954 the DDR-Oberliga consisted of 14 teams; the two worst-placed teams were relegated to the, which was introduced in 1950. Following the dissolution of the five federal states the five old Landesliga divisions were replaced by 15 new Bezirksliga divisions as the third level of the league system. By 1955 however, there was another change in the league system as the 2nd DDR-Liga was created as a level between the DDR-Liga and the Bezirksligen.
In 1962, the DDR-Liga was once more divided into two divisions and the 2nd DDR-Liga was abandoned.In 1971 the DDR-Liga was divided into five Divisions, and for that reason was now similar to the Landesliga of the 1940s. The five division champions played a qualification round to determine which clubs would promote to the Oberliga. Since 1984 the Liga consisted of two divisions again, whose champions were directly promoted to the Oberliga. Below the two DDR-Liga divisions were the fifteen Bezirksligen whose champions had to play a promotional round to determine the six clubs that would move up to the 2nd Division.
Below the Bezirksliga there were (descending) Bezirksklasse, Kreisliga and, at the lowest level, several Kreisklasse divisions, as they actually are today.
The league system in the 1989-90 season
The 1989-90 season was the last "true" season of DDR football. The league system presented here had been in use since 1984, when the DDR-Liga was reduced from five to two divisions.