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Given the fixture and our readers’ natural curiosity to learn more about the football world, today we ask what does that relatively un-Germanic sounding word Borussia mean
What is a Borussia?
11/07/2014
 
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Borussia Dortmund prepare to face Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

The Kingdom of Prussia in 1870 Included most of Germany

Given the fixture and our readers’ natural curiosity to learn more about the football world, today we ask what does that relatively un-Germanic sounding word Borussia mean, and how did it arrive with such prominence in German football?


Borussia is a Latin word and means Prussia, that region of Germany in the north-east famous for producing great armies, generals and soldiers prior to being swallowed up into Communist East Germany after World War 2.


The Kingdom of Prussia is a frequent guest in many a European history book forced upon schoolchildren studying the 18th and 19th centuries.

Great leaders like Frederick the Great and Otto von Bismarck dominate the German political landscape, with the latter being the driving force behind creating a united Germany out of the disparate kingdoms, provinces and duchies.


Although Dortmund was indeed enveloped inside that Kingdom between 1815 and 1918, the football club takes its Borussia monicker from the Borussia brewery which was located near the local pub, Zum Wildschutz, where fans objecting to church control of their current club Trinity Youth were forming a new one.

Kasey Keller Feeds the Moechengladbach Mascot

Moenchengladbach, situated as far west as it is possible before you reach the Netherlands, also became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815. In 1900, the former Fussball Club Germania Moenchen-Gladbach became Borussia as at the time the city was still in Prussia.



"Nowadays Prussia refers, if at all, to a much smaller land mass."


Until the end of the First World War, 2/3 of Germany fell under the Prussian umbrella.

After the end of World War 2, the allies were keen to rid the world of the word, mostly due to its militaristic connotations. In Law #46 of February 25, 1947 the Allied Control Council formally proclaimed the dissolution of Prussia and its parts were distributed among the 16 new Laender.


Now the word Prussia (Preussen in German) exists as a cultural concept including in terms like Prussian virtues suggesting a value set that emerged from the Protestant reformation.


One team in real Prussia in the town of Munster carries the name in its German form, SC Preussen Muenster which was founded in 1906 as FC Preussen. Teams in Wuppertal, Neunkirchen, Fulda and Friedenstal as well as a side called Tennis Club in Berlin also carry the Borussia name. Wuppertal dropped the Borussia name in 2013.


So now you know.

 
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