The Miracle of Bern

From Spanking Art

The Miracle of Bern (original German title: Das Wunder von Bern) is a movie from 2003, directed by Sönke Wortmann.


Spoiler warning

The movie tells the story of a German family and the unexpected West German miracle victory in the 1954 World Cup Final in Bern, Switzerland, on July 4 1954, and the story of a young boy and his father who returned from prisoner-of-warship in Russia after 11 years. The boy and his father don't get along well, but are finally brought together by a change in the father's attitude, a travel of the two by car to the World Cup Final, and the German success.

The film can be regarded as a portrait of post-war Germany. With over 6,000,000 cinema visitors, it is one of Germany's best-selling films.

The spanking scene[edit]

11-year-old Matthias Lubanski (Louis Klamroth) tries to run away from his home because his depressed and hardened father Richard (Peter Lohmeyer) makes his, and the rest of his family's, life miserable. After spending the night at the train station, he is found by his father and dragged home by his ear.

After the boy and his father reach home, Richard tells Matthias to take down his pants. The boy obeys and bares his bottom. Richard takes off his own jacket and removes his belt. He starts to spank his son (standing up) with his belt. Richard's mother Christa (Johanna Gastdorf) hears what's going on, intervenes and takes her husband to task. Richard says that the boy needs more discipline. Christa draws his attention to how the atmosphere in the entire family has deteriorated since his return, due to his self-pity and insensitivity, and how hard everybody in the family works for their common income, including Matthias. She finally says that the one in the family who is most in want of more discipline is Richard himself.


"The Miracle of Bern" shows how boys under the age of 14 in the 1950s would always wear shorts, and never long trousers. For things such as playing football, even girls, who could never have worn trousers in those days, wore shorts. This tradition — no long trousers for girls and prepubescent boys — had largely disappeared by the 1960s/1970s.

When Richard goes to bed on his first night after returning home, he can be seen wearing a union suit as underwear - this garment, too, has fallen into oblivion in the 1960s.

See also[edit]