The Federal Republic of Germany came into existence in 1949 with the adoption of a temporary constitution under the leadership of the conservative Konrad Adenauer. The Wirtschaftswunder that led to Germany's stunning economic recovery had more to do with intact industrial assets and American aid than with footballing skills. Yet several established historians, among them Joachim Fest, are in no doubt that the Berne game marked the psychological turnaround - sparking the energy and the sense of togetherness that were needed to build the new country. In his eyes, 4 July 1954 was 'the true birth date of the Bundesrepublik '.
Rebirth of a nation. How the 1954 World Cup final brought Germany back to life.